What a classic feeling as Le Chef wins Magic Millions
SUNSHINE Coast trainer Darryl Hansen delivered on a promise yesterday when Le Chef took out the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast.
The $16 outsider secured his place in the race only last Saturday after winning the First National Handicap (1200m) at the same track.
The husband of Le Chef owner Lorraine Saunders, Mike, who spoke on his wife's behalf, said he had thought Hansen was crazy when he told him he would win yesterday's race.
"Darryl has done an outstanding job with this horse," Saunders said.
"He copped a lot of criticism from me for his first start (unplaced at Doomben) and I didn't miss him, and he said, 'I will return and I guarantee you I will win the Millions'.
"I hung up the phone and I said 'he needs his temperature checked, he's mad'."
Hansen praised the efforts of apprentice jockey Luke Tarrant, who guided the gelding to a three-quarter length win.
"I am singing Luke's praises mate - he's a superstar, a superstar," he said.
"The last few weeks have been a tough ride to get this horse here, but we got a couple of runs.
"He is such a good horse to work with and he has copped it all in his stride.
"I am over the moon and have never experienced anything like this."
Le Chef's win was worth $1.14 million, plus a $325,000 bonus for being a female-owned horse.
Tarrant, who got at least 5% of the winner's prizemoney, was understandably ecstatic with the result.
"It is a great purse but to me it's not about that," he said. "It is a pleasure just to ride with the guys and I am appreciating every moment of it.
"Darryl has done a pearler of a job and threw the blinkers on and did everything right and he has improved every run from then on."