Former top three-year-old Magnum has not failed in his bid to score at his first run back from a break, launching at the right time to land the $80,000 Class 3 race over 1200m on Sunday.
The game son of Per Incanto attacked the line with his usual aplomb when regular partner Corey Brown brought him down the centre of the home straight for his run. On the rails, Justice Day (Vlad Duric) tried to muster a response but Magnum outsprinted him inside the last 200m, and though he looked like he was stopping, he hit the line well enough to secure victory.
Justice Day held on for second by three parts of a length with Zeus (Sigrid Carr) flashing home late for third, separated by an identical margin. The winning time was 1min 10.68secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.
Trainer James Peters had every reason to be satisfied with the performance, especially after a slight scare three weeks ago, when his comeback run had to be postponed due to a blood irregularity.
“When we looked through the card, we knew there would be a good speed to the race,” said the Briton.
“We didn’t want to get in a speed battle, though we were probably further back than ideal.
“But he was travelling smoothly enough and he won a nice race in the end, even if he was looking around a little.
“There will obviously be some improvement to come out of today. The EW Barker Trophy is a race we’re looking at long-term for him but he may also run in the Saas Fee Stakes, all going well.”
The Group 3 Saas Fee Stakes (1400m) will be run on October 16 while the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) is a handicap race that will be run one month later on November 18.
One person who is odds-on to be aboard at those two races, should Peters’ wish go to script, is his current pilot, who has always thought highly of him.
“There was massive speed in the race, and I was probably one pair further back. He probably needs further now even if he raced over 1200m before,” said Brown who just returned from a flying visit to Caulfield where he managed a couple of seconds on Saturday.
“He tracked out three wide but he was never going to get beaten. To his credit, he was a bit underdone, after he missed a week because of the problem he had, but he hit the line very well.
“He’s always been a horse I had a bit of time for. Like I said during the week, he used to be quite a lazy sort, but he is a lot sharper these days, and he should go well again this prep.”
Never beaten out of the placings, Magnum has now taken his record to four wins, three seconds and two thirds from nine runs for stakes earnings in excess of $320,000 for the Waterford Stable, who again had a few members rushing down to the lead-in in their usual Hawaiian shirts at the winner’s box.