Magic day for classy mare
My Magic Miss prevailed in a thrilling two-horse war over Falcon Crest in the final 200m to give trainer Ross Price and jockey Joseph Azzopardi their first victory in the $100,000 Wellington & Reeves Real Estate Albany Cup (2070m) at Percy Spencer Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.
The grey galloper finished runner-up in last week’s listed Pinjarra Cup (2300m) and the listed Prince Of Wales Hotel Cup (2019m) in March along with a fifth placing behind Material Man in the listed Bunbury Cup (2200m) last month but was urged to the line by Azzopardi to get the verdict in a close photo finish.
After blundering at the start, My Magic Miss ($6.10 tote chance) settled in the back half of the field early before Azzopardi made a decisive mid-race move tracking up behind Daisy Express to sit outside the leader.
Falcon Crest ($3.30) also moved quickly around the field to take up the lead going into the home straight but Azzopardi stalked his rival and moved up stylishly in the home straight to get his head in front before Falcon Crest kicked back, the pair going stride for stride in the concluding stages.
My Magic Miss got the bob on the line to win by a nose, edging out champion jockey William Pike and Falcon Crest, while local runner War Ksar ran home strongly from 10th on the turn to claim third.
Price said it was a satisfying win with his ultra-consistent galloper who is bound for stud later this year.
“She’s had a really good campaign,” Price said.
“It’s really good for the horse, she deserves to win a race like that and so do the owners.
“We hadn’t planned on the Albany Cup and buttering up a week apart was the concern but we nursed her this week in the water and at the beach.
“She blundered the start again but Joseph knows her well and you don’t often beat Willie in a photo.”
Price said the five-year-old who has now won almost $200,000 in stake money will be retired later this year to stud but will tackle winter staying features at Belmont before that. Azzopardi was impressed with the fight My Magic Miss showed in the finish.
“She is so honest and tries her guts out,” he said. “I got a good cart into the race but when Willie kicked back I was a bit worried.”
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