Jockey Jim Byrne left no doubt about his opinion of Secret Saga after her hard-fought win at Doomben on Saturday.
Secret Saga, the $1.80 favourite, had to fight hard to overhaul Big Tree to win the Best Security Handicap (1200m) by a long head after an enthralling battle in the final stages.
Despite the filly’s narrow victory, Byrne showered praise upon Secret Saga after weighing in.
“She’s a machine,” he said.
“I’ve really got a lot of time for her. I think she’s something special.”
Byrne thinks Secret Saga will be even better in blinkers but trainer Tony Gollan is uncertain if he will make a gear change in the short term as he plots an interstate campaign.
“At the moment she’s on a learning curve and still doing a few things wrong so whether we put blinkers on her at this stage is still a bit early to say,” he said.
Gollan is keen to test Secret Saga in black-type company in the Listed Sir Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 17.
“She mightn’t have won as easily as most people though she would but in fairness, the second horse won the Ken Russell Classic during the winter carnival so he’s obviously no slouch,” he said.
“They can only win and running her in three weeks time in the Crowley is all part of her education.”
Secret Saga settled outside the leader Big Tree but Gollan is adamant she’ll be more effective ridden quietly.
“I’m sure a big, spacious track like Randwick and a truly run race would enable to her to sit a bit further back and hit the line strongly,” he said.
“She got the job done but I’m sure there’s a lot more to this filly than what she showed us today.”
Secret Saga gave Byrne the second leg of a winning double after he scored one race earlier aboard Gid Up Strop for trainer Robert Heathcote.