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Ken Casellas | Photo Credit: Hamilton Content Creators

Shannon Suvaljko’s daring plan to restrain Machnificent from the outside barrier and to take short cuts in the TABtouch Better Your Bet Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night worked out perfectly.

Machnificent, trained by Katja Warwick, was a $12.20 chance from the outside barrier in the field of eight, and Suvaljko’s gamble paid handsome dividends.

After being restrained at the start, Machnificent darted through on the inside to settle down in third place before he raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs. He was still fifth with 400m to travel before Suvaljko eased him into the clear, and the three-year-old colt sprinted fast to burst to the front 50m from the post on the way to winning by a half-length from Talks Up A Storm, with the $2.80 favourite and pacemaker Arma Einstein wilting to finish third.

“That was the plan, to go back at the start and to get three back on the rail,” said Suvaljko. “I grabbed him up real quick and then dived through and took the punt to get there (three back) before the others.

“He is a pretty relaxed horse, and I was able to get a good spot early. And it worked out perfectly. He can’t get around the bottom corner too good, out wide, so I had to wait and wait — and then when he gets out, he’s really, really quick. He is a very fast horse and there’s not many horses who can go with him.”

Machnificent, a colt by Mach Three, is out of the Northern Luck mare Honorable Daughter, who was unplaced at her six starts in 2010 before being retired. Machnificent now has earned $70,143 from seven wins and nine placings from 27 starts.