He was barely mentioned in the lead-up to the 2013 Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) but Jason McLachlan-trained gelding Saluter produced a performance far better than his starting price to claim the $1 million three-year-old event at the Gold Coast.
With experienced rider Damian Browne aboard, the $17 chance was positioned outsider leader Driefontein who set a hot pace up front.
In the straight the Commands colt produced an outstanding effort to tackle Driefontein and hold off a bold finish from favourite Sizzling who snatched runner-up honours.
“I said to the owners, they thought I was a bit silly, I said he’ll nearly win this race,” McLachlan said.
McLachlan has aimed the emerging galloper at the race all preparation and was clearly thrilled to have seen it all come to fruition in front of a bumper crowd at the Gold Coast.
“They were all rating the other horses and my horse never got a look in but you watch his last few runs he had no luck and he’s a good horse, he just proved that,” McLachlan said.
“He came across, sat outside the leader and still won.”
Browne has ridden Saluter in his past five starts and always suspected he had the ability to win a big race provided he got the breaks at the right time.
“He’s raced without much luck right through this campaign,” Browne said.
“He’s just a 110 per cent racehorse. He gives everything he’s got.
“Full credit to Jason, he set this horse for this race a long time ago.”
It was a gutsy effort from Sizzling to run second after jumping from a wide barrier and getting caught up half way through the race.
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Magic Millions Guineas 2013 – Results
|1||4||SALUTER||Jason McLachlan||Damian Browne||–||10||57kg||$15|
|2||1||SIZZLING||Kelso Wood||Craig Williams||0.2L||16||58.5kg||$3F|
|3||9||DRIEFONTEIN||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||0.3L||3||56.5kg||$7|
|4||11||HOSS AMOR||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2.3L||15||55.5kg||$21|
|5||3||NOOGOORA BURR||Darryl Hansen||Eddie Wilkinson||2.4L||8||57.5kg||$51|
|6||6||REGULAR||Bryan Guy||Michael Rodd||2.5L||2||57kg||$61|
|7||8||HEZA JETSETTER||Robert Heathcote||Ryan Wiggins||4L||11||57kg||$13|
|8||5||PLATINUM STATE||Bryan Guy||Hugh Bowman||4.1L||12||57kg||$26|
|9||10||NO LOOKING BACK||Gai Waterhouse||Glyn Schofield||4.3L||5||55.5kg||$4.40|
|10||7||GRAND BUSINESS||Chris Waller||Dwayne Dunn||5.3L||4||57kg||$61|
|11||2||LUCKY HUSSLER||Kent Fleming||Matthew Palmer||5.4L||13||58kg||$17|
|12||15||SHE’S A STALKER||Angela Davies||Christian Reith||5.8L||1||55kg||$12|
|13||14||AVALADYLUCK||Stuart Kendrick||Craig Newitt||6.1L||14||55kg||$51|
|14||12||DISCREET||Kelly Schweida||Glen Colless||7.9L||9||55.5kg||$31|
|15||16||LADY COLOURS||Bruce W Hill||Timothy Bell||10.2L||6||55kg||$101|
|16||13||CALIENTE||Bruce W Hill||Paul Hammersley||13.2L||7||55.5kg||$14|