You had to be a very good judge of a horse to have Giga Kick in your thoughts if you were parting with your hard-earned for The Everest.
One of those very good judges was the three-year-old’s astute young trainer, Clayton Douglas, who is now a winner of the world’s richest race on turf at just 27.
When the great Nature Strip got to the front on the straight, thousands of punters around Australia would have been breathing sighs of relief.
But Douglas’ gelding had other ideas, taking advantage of his 53kg weight with star veteran Craig Williams aboard, to mow down the best sprinter in the world for Chris Waller.
2022 The Everest Replay
The $21 outsider held out a super-impressive Private Eye by half a length for Joe Pride, followed by Mazu and Nature Strip both a further half-length back.
Douglas had this to say after shocking the racing world following a stunning victory from his newly-crowned star sprinter on a day he will never forget.
“Watch out – the new kid is on the block,” he declared.
The reason why Douglas was so quietly confident when all the justified hype was on reigning champion Nature Strip was because of the first-hand knowledge he had on Giga Kick.
He still rides his stable standout.
“I’ve ridden a lot of good horses in my time, and this horse just does things that people haven’t seen,” he said.
“I noted that on Tuesday and people probably thought I was being a bit cocky, but Craig Williams had a lot of faith in this horse.
“He’s a star and I’m so rapt for the owners, rapt for Jonathon Munz and James Harron.
“He put his neck on the line to take a three-year-old and do what he’s done. It’s great.”
Douglas said it was “electric” the way Giga Kick finished his “grand final” run in the clutch moments at just three years of age when up against greatness throughout the entire field.
“He’s such a professional and you can see today, with the 53 kilos when ridden like that, he’s electric,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a whirlwind, but he wasn’t in the race to make the numbers up and I had a lot of faith in him. He’s a star.”
One of the best jockeys in the land – Williams – a Victorian, passed up a Caulfield Cup ride to be aboard Giga Kick.
That was how much confidence he also had in the horse.
“He (Douglas) planned to give him a gap between his first and his next run into the Danehill at Flemington, he told me to come down and jump on him,” Williams said.
“And Clayton said ‘Craig, this horse has absolutely improved four lengths. Come down and trial him. Actually, we might not be 12 months behind schedule at all.’
“Then what he did the other day in the Danehill (winning on October 1), and trusting Clayton as the horseman that he is, with a horse that he’s got and given the opportunity from Pinecliff (connections) and of course James Harron who had a tough decision.
“Thanks for his support in our confidence in the horse, but again the equine athlete, the legend on this track today is Giga Kick.”