Star reinsman Aldo Cortopassi told trainer Ray Williams that outstanding four-year-old Magnificent Storm had plenty up his sleeve and was just coasting at an 80 per cent effort when he scored an effortless first-up victory in the 2130m Channel Seven Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Magnificent Storm, appearing after an absence of 23 weeks, was the $1.20 favourite from the outside barrier in the field of seven, and he gave his supporters no cause for concern after Cortopassi sent him to the front after 600m before travelling strongly and beating $21 chance Miracle Moose by just over two lengths at a 1.55.7 rate, with final quarters of 28.2sec. and 27.9sec.
“I was nervous,” admitted Williams. “I thought he might have needed the run, but still considered he was likely to win. However, there is no such thing as an easy race. The horses he was meeting were rock hard (in condition), and after the quick lead time (35.9sec.) I am pretty excited at his performance.
“He was real fresh, and in the preliminary he wanted to put the boots in. He has been pretty keen during this preparation, and I have been jogging him, using a kicking strap. He wasn’t like this during his previous preparation, but he did kick me at Northam one night. I couldn’t believe it. I went to take a hopple off and he went whack and cow-kicked me. So, you can see that he’s got plenty of spirit.”
Friday night’s win helped to relieve some of the disappointment of Magnificent Storm’s brilliant stablemate To Fast To Serious breaking down earlier in the week.
“After To Fast To Serious finished fourth behind Chiaroscuro the previous Friday night his leg blew up,” said Williams. “It’s a low tendon injury from the fetlock down in his nearside foreleg, and he will be out of action for 12 months. It is extremely disappointing.”
Friday night’s win, at his first start since finishing a neck second to Minstrel in the Golden Nugget in February, improved Magnificent Storm’s record to 15 starts for 13 wins and a second placing for stakes of $209,024.
Magnificent Storm, who finished ninth at his only start in New Zealand, is by American Ideal and is the first foal out of Our Splendour, who was retired after 28 starts for eight wins, 11 placings and $142,217. Our Splendour raced twice in Australia (in June 2013) for a win in the group 3 Gold Coast Oaks and a half-head second to Itz Nosurprisesthere in the group 1 Queensland Oaks.
Written by: Ken Casellas | Photo Credit: Hamilton Content Creator