Outstanding apprentice jockey Mandy Radecker, 21, watched on as her favorite horse Heart Of The Citi stormed to victory in the $1 million Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions Trophy at the Gold Coast in Australia on March 24.
She had the opportunity to ride the 3-year-old gelding but turned it down. "I thought I would get too over-awed by the occasion," Radecker said. "All the senior riders told me to pursue the ride, but I told the owner that this was a ride for a senior jockey. I am happy for the stable, but I am disappointed for me," she added. "If I had ridden him to win, it would have made me as a jockey." Radecker had ridden him to his four previous wins.
But she gave the mount up to senior jockey Brad Pengelly who dutifully brought the gelding home to a commanding win.
Veteran trainer Pat Duff said Brisbane’s biggest sprints — the group I Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap — would be on the agenda for star 3-year-old Heart of the Citi after his resounding win in the 3-year-old Magic Millions Trophy. And if he runs in the $1 million Stradbroke Handicap in June, that race being a handicap means he would get just 48 kgs (102 pounds) so Radecker could have another shot. "I won’t be knocking that ride back," she added. She has never ridden in a group I race.
Duff, who’s trained a number of top class stakes winners during his career, described Heart of the Citi as the best horse he’d trained. "He is simply brilliant," he said. "Out of all the horses I’ve trained this bloke has the best two furlong sprint of all of them. That includes (former crack sprinter) Star of Florida. He’s a very exciting horse, and I think he’s a brilliant racehorse.
"We’ll look after him now and I think this is the right time, as a 3-year-old — to have a crack at those big races. I’d like to think he’d be up to races like the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke."
Duff went to $90,000 for the son of Show a Heart at the 2006 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
"When I saw him at the sales I decided I wasn’t going to go home without him," Duff recalled.
Runner-up Wind Shear went close to giving the Wadham Park operation their first big race success. They have spent $24 million in recent years setting up a training and breeding operation.
"It was a great run," said his trainer Dale Sutton. "We are absolutely thrilled with him. We’ll try and find a race for him in Sydney before we send him for a spell and set him for the spring."
Third place-getter Absolut Glam, sent out as the favourite with on and off course punters, turned in a great effort considering she was squashed near the 800 metre mark, losing valuable ground and momentum.
"(Steven) King did nothing wrong," her trainer Danny O’Brien said. "They all just came across and put her into the rail."
The win of Heart of the Citi came at the right time, for his half-brother by Danehill’s record-breaking son Rock of Gibraltar. A member of the Toolooganvale Farm (as agent) draft, the colt is catalogued as hip 1387 in the 10-day Magic Millions yearling sale, which begins March 24. The colt will be offered March 31.
Heart of the Citi is one of two winners (from two to race) for the former group III winning Citidancer mare Citichy. As well as capturing the Mercedes-Benz Stakes at Eagle Farm, Citichy is remembered for winning the black type Ramornie Handicap at Grafton during her stellar racing career.
The grey gelding isn’t the first Magic Millions winner for Glenlogan Park stallion Show a Heart. He is the sire of 2-year-old Classic winner Mimi Lebrock and has become an Aussie champion sire.
Show a Heart has a great line up of yearlings to go through the Gold Coast ring starting Monday night.
Among them is a half-brother to group I winner Cheeky Choice.