Trainer Les Ross’ pre-race blast for Matt McGillivray sparked the jockey to ride a top race to win the $175,000 Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) on River Racer.
McGillivray completed a fine winter carnival, which included his first Group One win in the Queensland Oaks on Winning Ways, when River Racer ($9.50) charged down the middle of the Sunshine Coast track to win.
River racer scored by 1-3/4 lengths to the unlucky Niccanova ($8) with a short neck to dead heaters Platinum Angel ($15) and Chapter and Verse ($8.50) in third.
Ross revealed he had given McGillivray a “spray” before the race.
“He came out with three girths and then he didn’t come out and I had to send in to the jockeys room for him. I said to him I have a live chance here and you will muck it up,” Ross said.
“Then I said to him it was no wonder I didn’t give him too many rides. But I will have to give him a lot more now.”
Ross said it had given him a thrill to win a stakes race for owner Leslie Ung, who had been a great supporter of his stable.
“River Racer has run in a lot of tough races and picked up $427,000 before today. So she goes past $500,000 now and it is because the owners wanted her to race in the best company.”
“I could have won 15 races with her and not earned anything like that prize money.”
Ross said he gave River Racer a real chance in the race with a light weight and a wet track.
“She really does like it soft and where she was drawn man she could get to the crown of the track in the straight,” Ross said.
River Racer will now be sent for a spell before coming back for the Brisbane summer carnival.
McGillivray said River Racer had a lovey run and had been far too strong at the finish.
“I hope Les will put me on a few more now,” he said.
Jockey Jim Orman said Niccanova had no luck in the straight.
“I got held up for a run and then I had to alter course, but he hit the line hard,” he said.
Jockey Glen Boss said Platinum Angel also didn’t have a lot of luck in the straight.
Mark Du Plessis said Chapter and Verse had made up a lot of ground after being forced back towards the tail of the field.