Douglas Gets A Kick Out Of Rising Star’s Everest Win
Replay of the 2022 Everest.
Clayton Douglas told anyone who would listen in the build up to the TAB Everest that his unbeaten three-year-old Giga Kick was a star in the making and he was vindicated with the biggest win of his career at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The 27-year-old former jockey, who has only been training a couple of years, says the best is yet to come from Giga Kick who was only having his fifth race start but performed on the big stage before 46,221 people.
“I’ve ridden a lot of good horses in my time, and this horse just does things that people haven’t seen,’’ Douglas 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 (slot holder) James Harron, he put his neck on the line to take a three-year-old and do what he’s done. It’s great.
“There’s a massive team behind me, I work very hard and I’ve got a great bunch of staff. To be honest, it’s a bit of a whirlwind at the moment, but I’m very happy.”
It was a big punt by Harron to select Giga Kick on the back of a narrow, and on the face of it unimpressive, win in the Danehill Stakes a few weeks earlier but as he did in 2017 with Redzel his judgment was spot on.
The gelding settled well off a frantic pace and Craig Williams timed his run to perfection as Giga Kick rounded up Private Eye to win by a long neck with Mazu a half length away in third, just ahead of Nature Strip who for a fleeting moment looked the winner as he strode up after working at the 400m.
But the story of Nature Strip’s defeat can be seen in the work he had to do early, running 10.37 between the 1000m and 800m, wide on the track.
“He’s such a professional and you can see today, with the 53 kilos when ridden like that, he’s electric,” Douglas 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.
“Watch out, the new kid is on the block.”
Craig Williams turned down a ride in the Caulfield Cup to come to Sydney and partner Giga Kick keen to add an Everest to his trophy cabinet having run second on Vega Magic in the inaugural running in 2017.
Giga Kick reeled off the race’s fastest last 600m of 34.34 (Punter’s Intelligence) and his last 200m of 11.97 was clearly superior, and Williams was full of praise for how the young trainer prepared the horse.
“Clayton Douglas, you talk about how young of a trainer he is but he’s well before his time,’’ Williams said.
Article – racingnsw
credit – Ray Hickson