Fanciful Stars In Great Northern Plate


Blackall’s pin up filly Fanciful will head to the paddock with better races in mind after upstaging a cracking field to win today’s $100,000 Great Northern Plate (1200m) at Townsville.

In winning her fourth straight race, Fanciful showed great fight to hold out her rival and lead home a Magic Millions trifecta.

The winner was a $10,000 yearling sale bargain at the Gold Coast, while the minor placegetters were both purchased by connections for just $14,000.

The trio from a handful of runs each have already earned over $188,000 – already $150,000 more than their collective costs from the Magic Millions sales.

Fanciful’s rider Ryan Wiggins said the daughter of Jet Spur was a “push button” youngster who today relished a drop in weight from her previous outing.

“We were never going to get a pretty run from the gate today,” Wiggins noted. “So I just wanted to ride her like the best horse in the race and that did the trick.”

“She’s a top filly and today was the first time she was really challenged this time in and she handled that well.”

“She went to the line strongly and she was half playing with them at the finish.”

Wiggins is confident that Fanciful can measure up to the quality youngster in the Brisbane metropolitan area.

“She’d go well down in Brisbane in those three-year-old races next time in – particularly in races from 1200 to 1400 metres – able to sit off them.”

In the run to the line in today’s feature Fanciful ($2.60 fav) held a neck margin over Feline Irish ($17), while Been Broke Before ($11) was another half length back.

Fanciful was purchased as a yearling at last year’s inaugural Magic Millions QTIS 600 Yearling Sale by senior part owner Beau Gray for $10,000.

Gray couldn’t make it to the track to cheer on his star filly today – leaving that to Birse and fellow part owner Darren Atkinson.

“Work comes first and I couldn’t make it today – but we were certainly cheering,” Gray said.

“It was great to see her win the big race today – she’d had such a good preparation and it’s just awesome.”

Gray, who lives in Muttaburra, north of Longreach, went to the inaugural QTIS 600 Yearling Sale hoping for a star and a star he got.

“There was a group of us at the sales and we had a small budget for a horse.”

“We liked the Jet Spurs and I thought she would be in our price bracket and she was – and as they say the rest is history.”

Gray went to $10,000 to secure the filly from the draft of Misty Downs Stud. She has, as it stands, won her jubilant connections well over $140,000.

He races the filly with his mother Jennifer and good mate, Marlborough based Darren Atkinson – who ironically is a next door neighbour to Mundi Gully’s owners Ron and Beverly White. Fanciful is the first horse that Atkinson has ever raced.

“I also gave (trainer) Kevin Birse a 10 per cent share for breaking her in,” Gray added.

Right from the time the filly was first tested on the training track she showed she was well above average.

“Birsey knew early on she had plenty of ability and we were confident when she had her first start (and was second) when she ran into Whitsunday Express who was flying at the time.”

She had one more run before a break running fourth behind Mundi Gully in the $100,000 Magic Millions Mackay Plate.

“It was a top run because she pulled up shin sore. We wanted to give her one more run after her first start – when she was a bit green.”

Fanciful came back an even better filly after a 16 week break – winning three lead up races to today’s feature juvenile event.

“She will go straight to the paddock now and we will try and prepare her for a Magic Millions race early next year,” Gray commented.

“We’ll give her a couple of runs in Brisbane before that and see how she goes before we decide.”

And whether or not Fanciful makes it to the Gold Coast early next year, Gray is definitely planning a trip to the 2011 QTIS 600 Yearling Sale.

“We’ll be back for sure.”