Jan 05, 2015
RAPID improver Le Chef booked his spot in the Magic Millions with a seemingly easy Gold Coast victory on Saturday, despite jockey Luke Tarrant claiming he was never comfortable in the sticky ground.
Tarrant, who rode the son of Exceed And Excel to a big win at Ipswich at his previous start, was conscious of the Soft (6) rating from the outset.
“He wasn’t comfortably in that ground and I went hard early to make sure I had a big enough lead heading into the straight,” Tarrant said.
[Trainer Darryl Hansen. Picture: Jono Searle]
Trainer Darryl Hansen. Picture: Jono Searle
“He was a lot happier when I rode him at Ipswich and if it’s a dry track next week he’s right in it.”
Le Chef gives Darryl Hansen a second shot at Magic Millions success.
His first runner, Choose A Saga, ran fifth to Real Surreal two years ago.
Real Surreal provides a good precedent for Hansen’s hopes next week as she was able to win the Millions on the same seven-day back up Le Chef is attempting.
“I’ve left a bit in the tank because I knew if he won today he would need to back up,” Hansen said.
“He’s coming to the party now. I just have to look after him for another week.
“Every time I’ve galloped him he’s improved.”
Le Chef is one of just three two-year-olds Hansen has in his stable.
He was a $120,000 purchase for Lenore Saunders, who sold her Coffee Club in Mount Isa and with some of the funds made the purchase at last year’s sales.
The Saunders family also race Le Chef’s full brother Le Cap, a seven-times winner of $150,000, and hence their interest in this youngster last year.
Le Chef is eligible for the $500,000 in bonuses for MM runners raced entirely in female interests, adding extra incentive for the team to be there next week.