Horse trainers go to weird and wonderful lengths to find an edge and Brooke Somers may have unearthed the newest – Gregorian chants.
Professional sporting stars around the world listen to music in the lead-up to matches to get the in the zone.
And that was the tonic rookie trainer Somers used to get I Am Magnificent to relax before he scored a major upset in Wednesday’s TAB Rewards Handicap (1200m) at Warwick Farm.
Somers was emotional after he won at $51 but composed herself to reveal the unorthodox training method.
“Everyone’s going to say I’m crazy,” Somers said.
“I made him iPod earmuffs.
“He was wearing earmuffs up until we got him into the mounting yard and he listens to Gregorian chants and Baul singing.”
The Baul people are a group of people who hail from the Bengal region across India and Bangladesh while Gregorian chants are associated with the Roman Catholic church.
“He has earplugs in so that just blocks everything else out,” Somers said.
“It’s a bit crazy but you’ve got to think outside the square.”
I Am Magnificent gave Somers, who has eight horses in work at Hawkesbury, her first city winner at her first attempt.
“Oh my god – can you believe it?” she said.
“He’s got more ability in his left foot than most horses ever have and to be able to get him to show what he has today is really exciting.”
Choice Larga ($5.50) and Louie See Kay ($5) filled the placings.
I Am Magnificent’s jockey Josh Parr sat outside leader In The Vanguard before letting his horse go in the straight.
“Brooke said to me a big part of getting this horse to race well is keeping him settled and that’s exactly what he was today,” Parr said.
Veteran trainer Fred Cowell teamed up with in-form apprentice James Innes for a rare metropolitan win with Bettabet Red.
Cowell has been most well known in recent years as trainer of multiple stakes winner Mighty Lucky, who has been the small Gosford stable’s most frequent visitor to Sydney.
On Wednesday Bettabet Red came down the highway to win the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1600m) and give Innes his fifth win from his last 15 starts.
Earlier, two-year-old filly Jessamin stamped her credentials for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic with a classy maiden win.