where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-04-01 08:18:05  
I Wish I Win sets bar for Aussie Sprinters

A changing of the guard in Australia’s sprinting ranks has begun as I Wish I Win served noticed he’ll be a major player in the TAB Everest with a stunning win in the Group 1 $3m TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.

In doing so he downed the reigning Everest winner Giga Kick with Mazu, the only horse currently holding a slot in the $15m classic, a game third as they cleared out from Nature Strip who could only manage fourth after kicking for home on the turn.

It was a decade since trainer Peter Moody and jockey Luke Nolen held court at Royal Randwick as Black Caviar won the race at what would be her final start and you could sense the satisfaction.

“Ten years ago, 12 years ago I won it with the great mare and to win the race named after the little master, my first boss when I was 15 at Bowral Street Kensington, is pretty special,’’ Moody said.

“What we set out to achieve has worked. We probably go home now, take the foot of the pedal and gear him towards an Everest.

“I don’t know where the ceiling is, I’m pretty happy with what he’s done so far, an Eagle and a TJ Smith, so it’s pretty special.

“I’ll probably have a couple of slot holders give us a call tonight.”

After the TJ, I Wish I Win and Giga Kick now share favouritism for the TAB Everest at $6 with TAB with Mazu on the third line at $8 – he was given a two year slot deal by The Star & Arrowfield.

Moody said the Golden Eagle winner from the spring is a much better horse on top of the ground, at least he says his sprint is more effective, and that’s an ominous sign if the sun is shining in the lead up to the Everest.

Following his Eagle win, Moody switched to the short course and the four-year-old recorded placings in the Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) and Newmarket Handicap (1200m).

“We tried something different this time around and he was running well without winning so to be reward today was very special,’’ he said.

“I laid down at 10.30am this morning and the track was a Good 4, I was a very happy man. Got up at 12.15pm, it was a Heavy 8 and I didn’t want to come to the races.

“His ability to quicken on dry ground his much great so that dulled my confidence.”

Nolen said I Wish I Win didn’t travel that well in the early stages in the ground but once he found a rhythm he was moved to suggest it felt a little like riding Black Caviar.

He shared Moody’s view that the gelding will be smoother on top of the ground and is looking forward to coming back to chase Australia’s richest race.

“We were here on trial for that race (The Everest) in the spring so I reckon they’ll be lining up to get him a slot,’’ Nolen said.

“He’s a beautiful animal and because they’ve given him a lot of time early we’re going to be able to see this horse race on for many years to come hopefully.

“I’m glad he ended in Moody’s care so I get the opportunity to ride him.”

Giga Kick lost no admirers with his game second, beaten half a length, and trainer Clayton Douglas was proud of his Everest champ’s performance.

Racing NSW

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