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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Champion pacer Magnificent Storm, remarkable value at $3.70 (and $4 on the fixed market), answered his doubters in emphatic fashion when he did all the work in the breeze before surging away from his five rivals and scoring a superb victory in the $30,000 Members Free-For-All at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“It was a super win,” said veteran trainer Ray Williams. “I was hoping he would win but listening to all the talk (regarding the prospects of the $1.50 favourite Jumpingjackmac), I thought maybe he won’t win. I don’t know why I doubted him, because he has never let me down.”

Magnificent Storm, driven by Aiden de Campo, began fast from barrier four and made an unsuccessful bid for the early lead, with Jumpingjackmac holding up from the No. 1 barrier.

De Campo then restrained Magnificent Storm, and the five-year-old relaxed in the breeze after a quick lead time of 36.5sec. After opening quarters of 30.4sec. and 29.7sec. Jumpingjackmac sped over the following 400m section in 27.5sec.

Magnificent Storm dashed to the front 300m from home and won at a 1.55.2 rate over the 2130m, beating $8 chance Diego, who finished solidly after trailing the pacemaker all the way. Veteran superstar Chicago Bull, a $26 chance from the outside barrier, raced in fifth position before finishing gamely, out wide, to be third, with Jumpingjackmac wilting to fifth.

“That was one of Magnificent Storm’s better wins,” said Williams. “It seems that he likes that style of racing. We decided to have a go for the lead, and the good thing about him is that you can light him up, and if he can’t cross to the front, he will come back to you.”

Williams said that he would confer with managing part-owner Rob Tomlinson to map out the New Zealand-bred gelding’s racing program.

“He might have another couple of runs before having a spell and then coming back to be prepared for the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups early in the New Year,” said Williams. “At the moment my main aim is for him to run in those big Cup races.

“He is improving with age and should be a better horse than he was when he contested those big races last summer (finishing ninth behind Minstrel in the Fremantle Cup and fourth behind Wildwest in the WA Pacing Cup).

“To me, he is not an Interdominion horse yet, but if he keeps improving then, naturally, we will consider the Inters.”

Magnificent Storm, who was an odds-on fancy at 21 of his 26 WA starts before Friday night’s race, now has amassed $404,742 in prizemoney from 21 wins and three placings from 28 starts.