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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

Astute Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams gave further proof of his skill in producing pacers in wonderful condition after a spell when champion pacer Magnificent Storm scored a thrilling victory in the $30,000 Etch Coatings Professional Powder Coating Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Magnificent Storm was the $2.60 favourite from the No. 2 barrier at his reappearance after a 19-week absence, and he revealed all of his brilliant natural speed and his outstanding competitive nature to score a head victory over the pacemaker While They Pray ($16).

Gary Hall Jnr got While They Pray away to a flying start from barrier five in the field of six, and the six-year-old coasted through the opening quarters of the final mile in 31sec. and 29.7sec. before lifting the tempo with the final 400m sections being covered in 27.7sec. and 28.5sec.

The race was run in Indian file until Dylan Egerton-Green eased $3.10 chance To Fast To Serious away from last into the one-wide line with 1050m to travel. Magnificent Storm raced in third position on the pegs before Aiden de Campo moved him off the pegs to gain the trail behind To Fast To Serious 900m from home.

Magnificent Storm then raced alongside While They Pray in the final lap before he took a narrow lead on the home turn. The two horses then raced locked together all the way up the straight, with Magnificent Storm retaining his advantage to gain the verdict by a head.

This improved Magnificent Storm’s record to 27 starts for 20 wins and three placings for stakes of $385,542. It also gave Williams the first leg of a double. Thirty minutes later the Williams-trained Ezana scored an effortless victory in the Im Themightyquinn Pace.