Two-year-old gelding shocked a few punters on Saturday after confidently winning the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) – the richest juvenile race in the world.
Le Chef’s journey to the 2015 Magic Millions at the Gold Coast was a difficult one. The gelding was balloted out after finishing fifth in the Breakfast Creek Hotel Handicap (1050m) at Doomben Racecourse on November 29 after which trainer Darryl Hansen had to give him a few quick runs.
The gelding easily won the XXXX Gold Maiden Plate (1100m) by four and a half lengths on December 24 as well as the First National Handicap (1200m) on December 3 at the course proper, earning his place in the capacity field for the 2YO Classic on Saturday.
Le Chef was backed from $26 into $16 in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, offering punters a lucrative payday after holding on in the straight to win three quarters of a length from Pepperano ($31) with Single Gaze ($8.50) the same distance away in third.
Apprentice jockey Luke Tarrant delivered the winning ride of the day on the back of a Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) victory last month.
“All of my dreams have come true. Things have gone so well for me in the past few months,” Tarrant told Sky Racing.
“I said during the week we just needed a dry track to be right in it.”
Not only did Le Chef win the $1.1 million first place prize, he also scored an extra $300,000 bonus for being the first solely female owned horse across the line.
Owner Lenore Saunders purchased Le Chef at the Magic Millions sale last year for $120,000 and was beyond excited with the result.
“It is a dream come true. We race horses all over north Queensland and in the south. To win a race like this leaves me almost speechless,” she said.
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2015 Magic Millions Classic Results & Finishing Order
|1||3||LE CHEF||Darryl Hansen||Luke Tarrant (a/50kg)||–||3||57kg||$16|
|2||15||PEPPERANO||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||0.8L||12||55kg||$31|
|3||8||SINGLE GAZE||Nick Olive||Damien Oliver||1.6L||6||55kg||$8.50|
|4||12||MADOTTI||Matthew Dunn||Timothy Bell||1.8L||11||55kg||$41|
|5||11||PERIGNON||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||1.9L||10||55kg||$11|
|6||1||WICKED INTENT||Barry A Mitchell||Chris Munce||2.1L||5||57kg||$4.40|
|7||14||CLAUDIA JEAN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Stephen Baster||2.3L||1||55kg||$10|
|8||6||CARRIAGES||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||2.6L||16||55kg||$11|
|9||5||SURF SEEKER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||3.6L||13||57kg||$5|
|10||13||SAGA OF THE STORM||Liam Birchley||Robert Thompson||3.8L||9||55kg||$16|
|11||16||RACY||Gary Portelli||Tim Clark||5.6L||8||55kg||$51|
|12||7||FREQUENDLY||Les Ross||Brad Stewart||6.6L||4||55kg||$12|
|13||4||OLD TRIESTE||Andrew Noblet||Jim Byrne||6.7L||15||57kg||$61|
|14||2||ZOUTENANT||Kevin Moses||Glyn Schofield||8.2L||7||57kg||$26|
|15||9||FLAMENCO||Liam Birchley||Larry Cassidy||8.4L||2||55kg||$51|
|16||10||MISS IDYLLIC||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||9.7L||14||55kg||$26|
|–||20||STAR OF NIGHT||David Kelly||–||–||0||55kg||–|
|–||21||WICKED INVESTMENT||Paul Butterworth||–||–||0||57kg||–|
|–||19||REAL GOOD||Trevor Miller||–||–||0||57kg||–|
|–||17||FLAMENCO GIRL||Danny J Bougoure||–||–||0||55kg||–|
|–||18||RIGHT OF WAY||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||–||0||55kg||–|