Magic Millions Classic 2016: Claro El Banco books trip to Gold Coast

Claro El Banco has earned his shot at the rich Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast after a front-running win at Ballarat.

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The Jason Petch-trained gelding was the only horse with race experience in Saturday’s $200,000 Clockwise Classic (1000m) and he turned around a debut disappointment.

Ridden aggressively by jockey Craig Newitt to find the lead, Claro El Banco ($15) opened up a three-length lead early in the straight and kept going to win by 1-1/4 lengths over the the Gai Waterhouse-trained Preferito ($3.30) with She’s Positive ($5) a short head away third.

Petch said the $2 million Magic Millions Classic in January was now the target.

“We’ve got a free ticket to go there, why not? It’s worth a lot of money,” Petch said.

“If he won today he was going to go to the Gold Coast and we’ll plan it tonight.”

An $80,000 yearling purchase, Claro El Banco had won a trial leading into his debut in the Maribyrnong Trial but things didn’t go to plan at Flemington and the gelding finished last.

Petch was thrilled the gelding showed the talent he knew he possessed on Saturday when he was able to run along in front.

“He got in behind them and got lost on debut, and we hadn’t taught him to race that way,” the trainer said.

Petch said his instructions to Newitt were to let the gelding try to find the front from a deep draw.

“He runs on fear,” Petch said.


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