Chris Munce won the Magic Millions twice as a jockey and is eyeing his first as a trainer after the dynamic victory of Ours To Keep at Doomben.
The aptly named Ours To Keep ($6) led throughout to win the Skytrans Plate (1050m) by 4-1/4 lengths from the $2.10 favourite Unlikely Story.
Munce was left high and dry after buying Ours To Keep for $28,000 at this year’s Magic Millions sales.
“The people I bought him for left me holding him when they decided they didn’t want him,” Munce said.
“I said to my wife Cathy ‘bugger it let’s keep him’ and I have to thank Gary Lawrence for stepping up and taking the other 50 per cent.”
Munce was successful in the Millions aboard Sunblazer in 1989 and Dance Hero in 2004.
He said Ours To Keep would be spelled before aiming at the Millions in January.
Winning jockey Damian Browne said Ours To Keep was an ideal type for the Millions.
“He’s not a squibby type and he has a lovely big stride and covers a lot of ground for a two-year-old,” Browne said.
“There’s plenty of upside to him and the Magic Millions looks an ideal race for him. He’s a live chance.”
The colt clocked 1 minute 58 seconds which was 1.06 seconds faster than Real Princess recorded in the fillies division, one race earlier.
Race experience proved invaluable for Real Experience who is also on track for the Millions.
Real Princess ($4.60) was runner-up in the O’Shea Plate (1000m) at Toowoomba last Saturday night and handled the seven day back-up comfortably to win by half a length.
“She should’ve won her first start and fortunately we drew well today which made her task a lot easier,” winning trainer Liam Birchley said.
“She’s tough, she’s honest and she’ll win plenty of races.”
Birchley says he is “long overdue” to win the Millions following second placings with Paprika (2009) and Pepperano (2015).
Winning jockey Jimmy Orman praised the professionalism of Real Princess and hinted Birchley’s juveniles will be worth following in the next few months.
“I’ve been riding a lot of work for Liam and I know he’s got a few others that go better than this one so it’s all looking rosy,” he said.