Vastly improved Le Chef rocketed into calculations for next week’s Magic Millions Classic with an easy win at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Starting favourite, Le Chef ($2.50) had been 24th in order of entry into the $2 million race before tackling the First National Handicap (1200m).
The gelding bounced out of the barriers to lead all the way to beat Real Good ($6.50) by a length with 4-1/2 lengths to Red Magic ($71) in third place.
Trainer Darryl Hansen breathed a huge sigh of relief when Le Chef won because the $41,600 first prize money lifted the gelding clearly into next Saturday’s field.
“We just have to keep him happy for a week and we are in with a real show,” Hansen said.
He said Le Chef had continued to get better with each run this campaign.
“Le Chef was green at his first start and then we put blinkers on him at Ipswich and he improved lengths,” Hansen said.
“He was a bit slow to go at Ipswich but he jumped cleanly today which you can put that down to maturity.”
Le Chef cost Mt Isa owner Lenore Saunders $120,000 and she bought the gelding because he is a full-brother to smart country galloper Le Cap which is raced by her son Andrew.