AN EXCEPTIONALLY gallant fourth in a Listed race on Melbourne Cup day with It's Kind Of Magic has thrilled Sutton Grange trainer Brent Stanley.
Contesting the $175,000 Hong Kong Jockey Stakes (1400m), the three-year-old filly had her nose in front of Xilong at the 200m mark, before both horses were swamped late by Akari and Betcha Flying.
It's A Kind of Magic finished just half a length from the Hawkesbury-trained winner Akari in an excellent introduction to black type racing.
The filly was having just her third race start and was rated a $10 chance on the back of an impressive maiden win at Ballarat on October 24, which followed a second on debut at Swan Hill earlier that month.
Stanley, who also trains a handful of horses from his secondary stable base at Bendigo racecourse, was confident of a promising future for the well-bred It's Kind Of Magic, who is the daughter of dual Cox Plate-winning sire So You Think.
"She did a great job finishing fourth in a stakes race," the Group 2-winning trainer said.
"She sat outside the leader, did all the work and led them up. They got to her and she fought back well, but just set it up for the backmarkers, who pipped her on the line.
"In six months time she's going to be a real good filly. She has pulled up well, so we will take our time seeing where we go from here.
"She might go to Sandown in a couple of weeks, if not we will put her away.
"She's a Magic Millions horse, so whether there is a race up there for her and the big prize money, we'll see.
"She will get out over a mile or more and has a lot of quality to come.
"I'm glad there was a few scratchings in the race and she got a run. Fourth in a stakes race is a great thrill for the owners."
Stanley was able to keep the momentum going on Kyneton Cup day, with a win to the six-year-old gelding Garbhan and a second with three-time city winner Critical Thinking.
Previously trained by Mark Newman at Hawkesbury, Garbhan showed a ton of fight to shake off a determined Danny O'Brien-trained favourite Sukoot to win by a short half head over the 1850m distance.
Harry Coffey, who rode It's Kind Of Magic on Tuesday, continued his outstanding start to the 2019-20 racing season by saluting on the six-year-old gelding, who has had seven starts for his new stable for a win and two seconds.
"I'm glad we got over the line, it looked like we were going to yesterday (Tuesday) but just got nabbed late," Stanley said.
"He needed a win. He's got a lot of ability this horse.
"Recovering from a lung injury it's taken a while to get fit, but now he has his confidence back, hopefully he can go on with it."
Meanwhile, the race career of Haski, who finished third for Stanley on Bendigo Cup day is over, after the gelding again succumbed to injury.
"Sadly he has reinjured himself, though nothing bad, but to race him again there's a chance of doing more injury, so he will hit the farm and be well looked after," the trainer said.
Initially trained by Darren Weir before making his way to Sutton Grange, Haski had his final 11 starts for Stanley for three wins and six placings.
The seven-year-old gelding's overall record stood at five wins and eight placings from 20 starts.
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