|Mick Price and Michael Kent’s long-range plan to win Australia’s richest maiden paid handsome dividends on Saturday when He’ll Haunt Us landed the $250,000 Magic Millions Maiden Plate (1200m) at the Gold Coast.|
The son of Time For War, who was purchased by Roll The Dice Racing and John Foote Bloodstock for $150,000 out of the Kitchwin Hills draft at the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling, had travelled to Queensland more than a month ago, with his Victorian trainers keen to give him every opportunity to acclimatise.
He’ll Haunt Us was given a lovely run just behind the speed by champion jockey Damien Oliver but, despite his extensive preparation in Queensland, looked in trouble when he wobbled and lost ground turning for home.
But Oliver ensured the three-year-old stuck to his task and, once balanced at the 250m, really let down with a sharp turn-of-foot to overhaul Chris Waller’s Hulk and the Stuart Kendrick-trained Playthefield.
Price, who has been active across the first three days of the 2020 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale, said he was delighted to win for the Roll The Dice Racing team.
“I was very surprised (that he didn’t get around the track) because he’s had that much practice to get him ready for this race,” Price said.
“When he was speared off the track, I’m not sure if it was because he had nothing to follow, I was thinking this is a bad race to be getting it wrong.”
“All credit to Damien Oliver, he put the stick in the left hand and the horse was fit and got the money.”
“He’s another Roll The Dice special.”
For Oliver, who registered only his second Magic Millions raceday win, there was plenty of merit in the performance despite the gelding’s greenness.
“He was really well prepared this horse by Mick Kent Junior and Mick Price, they got him here early and he had a couple of trials,” Oliver said.
“But I’ve got to say, he didn’t get around this track that well and he was lugging out around the turns.”
“But once he straightened up and got balanced, he did a good job in the end.”