Considered the best of the western state hopes, the Jim Taylor-trained mare Magnifisio proved she could match it with the eastern state raiders too beating home two fellow locals in an all-Perth Winterbottom Stakes 2014 trifecta.
The interstate raiders dominated betting for this year’s $750,000 Group 1 Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot Racecourse for Railway Stakes Day, but it was the Western Australian gallopers who proved too good on the day.
There were no excuses for the beaten top fancies Angelic Light and Moment Of Change who had all the luck while Taylor’s Magnus mare Magnifisio had work to do from her outside barrier 10 of 12.
She also had to survive a tense protest after the jockey of the runner-up Steven Arnold claimed interference 150m from home from the eventual winner and her hoop cost him the race.
Taylor, who also won the 2012 Winterbottom Stakes with his star sprinter Barakey, went interview-free all week leading up to the Group 1 with his mare flying under the radar after being all but written off post-barrier draw.
“Not as much pressure on today,” he said.
“When we drew that barrier we were knocked out of all chance.
“Haven’t had an interview all this week so it was very good!”
The gate proved a non-issue for the last start Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) winner however thanks to a gun ride from jockey Jason Brown.
“Just a great ride by Jason,” Taylor said after the win.
“The position he got her in was perfect.”
Brown had a bit of early luck and was able to slot in off the speed, set by last year’s runner-up Moment Of Change from the Melbourne stables of Peter Moody, with Magnifisio tracking nicely into the race.
“I was able to slide up three deep and roll in off the fence,” he said.
At the top of the straight though it looked like the eastern state raiders would steal the show.
Moment Of Change lead heading towards the post with Angelic Light, who had the perfect run, tracking up behind him on the inside before jockey Damien Oliver took Robbie Griffiths’ Cranbourne-based mare off the fence to challenge.
But from six wide round the turn Brown and Magnifisio absolutely flew home, rocketing from the back of the field, picking them up and racing off to win.
“She’s got a brilliant sprint on her,” Taylor said.
“Just a great effort and she’s just a great mare.”
Brown was also impressed with her sprint home saying she was really tough in the straight and that “she really pinged for me.”
“There’s not much of her but she finds the line,” he added.
Also flashing home late was last year’s third placegetter Watermans Bay, the Mark Kavanagh-trained galloper going down just a head while Grant Williams’ Blackfriars six-year-old Shining Knight held for third on the back of a first-up win in the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1000m) on November 4.
Fourth then went to the Daniel Pearce-trained Colonel Reeves runner-up Testamezzo before Angelic Light and Moment Of Change finished fifth and sixth respectively after being run down.
Before the official Winterbottom Stakes result was declared however, a protest occurred with Arnold claiming Brown had shifted across early with Magnifiso cutting off his mount Watermans Bay, costing him a length in the run.
But stewards dismissed the protest saying that because of how far from home the interference occurred, they were not convinced it cost Watermans Bay the chance of success and so left the placings as they were.
Taylor is in no rush to travel interstate with today’s Winterbottom Stakes winner, but did say they would consider taking her east next year to chase the better races after declaring her a sounder horse than Barakey.
“She’s not in his (Barakey’s) class but she’s a sound horse,” he said.
“She could go anywhere in Australia.
“Today might be her Grand Final (this season) we’ll see how she pulls up.”
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2014 Winterbottom Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Ascot Race 7 – 22/11/2014
|1||12||MAGNIFISIO||Jim P Taylor||Jason Brown||–||10||56.5kg||$7.50|
|2||4||WATERMANS BAY||Mark Kavanagh||Steven Arnold||0.25L||6||58.5kg||$41|
|3||6||SHINING KNIGHT||Grant Williams||William Pike||0.75L||11||58.5kg||$14|
|4||5||TESTAMEZZO||Daniel Pearce||Peter Knuckey||2.5L||9||58.5kg||$21|
|5||13||ANGELIC LIGHT||Robbie Griffiths||Damien Oliver||2.75L||4||56.5kg||$2.80|
|6||1||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3.25L||3||58.5kg||$4.60|
|7||3||BEL SPRINTER||Jason Warren||Ben Melham||3.5L||7||58.5kg||$12|
|8||9||ROCK MAGIC||Chris Gangemi||Jarrad Noske||5.25L||12||58.5kg||$71|
|9||2||SIDESTEP||John O’Shea||Nash Rawiller||5.25L||2||58.5kg||$5|
|10||8||ECLAIR BIG BANG (NZ)||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||5.75L||8||58.5kg||$15|
|11||10||WINDSWEPT||Chris Gangemi||Brad Parnham||8.5L||5||58.5kg||$91|
|12||7||TIGER PETE||Steve Wolfe||Shaun Mc Gruddy||10.5L||1||58.5kg||$101|
|–||11||YSMAEL||Adam Durrant||Joseph Azzopardi (a)||–||3||–||–|