WARRNAMBOOL trainer Matthew Williams has unveiled a major player for Ballarat Turf Club’s new Cup Day two-year-old feature – the $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic.
Ticket To Toorak will head to the inaugural running of the event after saluting on debut in Ballarat yesterday.
The spring classic will have a unique place on the Racing Victoria calendar, as the only race run in the clockwise direction in the state.
The Williams and managing owner Darren Dance, of Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, have had the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic on the radar for sometime.
Williams said he had considered Ticket To Toorak straight to the 1000-metre assignment without a race start. He said saluting in the City of Ballarat Maiden, 1000m, had been a win-win outcome.
Williams said yesterday’s run had been a learning curve for himself and the Northern Meteor colt, with blinkers a likely addition for Sunday, November 25.
While this was his first race start, Ticket To Toorak was already familiar with Dowling Forest Racecourse.
He has had a couple of trials in the clockwise direction.
Williams is planning to do this once more ahead of the classic, which has been programmed as a lead-up to the Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast early in the new year.
Ticket To Toorak ($8) ran down South Australian visitor Iconic ($1.35 favourite), with Washington Square ($7.50) third. The maiden marked the beginning of Racing Victoria’s VOBIS Gold bonus scheme.
The $30,000 race offered a $20,000 Gold bonus on top $20,000 in bonuses under the longstanding Super VOBIS scheme, but ironically Ticket To Toorak was the only starter not paid up for the new program.
Infrastructure for the Clockwise Classic is starting to shape on course with a temporary judge’s and photo-finish tower at what will be the finish line at the top of home straight under construction.
It was a day of doubles in Ballarat, with Ballarat-based New Zealand trainer Kevin Myers getting the money with Scapolo ($1.45 favourite) in the No Fuss Solutions Class 1, 1400m, and Micken ($3.10 favourite) in the Australian Stockyard BM72 Handicap, 1600m.
Steve Arnold and Dean Yendall also rode doubles.