ALWAYS the bridesmaid and never the bride.
Until Monday, that had been the story of the career of the George Osborne-trained Magnalicious
The four-year-old mare had seemingly perfected the art of near-misses, notching up five placings - including three straight seconds - from six starts.
But all that changed on her home track at Kyneton, when the daughter of Magnus finally broke through for her maiden win over 1100m.
Even in victory, there were still a few anxious moments.
Magnalicious ($1.35 favourite) was forced to fight for the win, nudging past the frontrunner Kulina with 50-metres to go, and only holding off the fast-closing debutante Skyler's Princess, for fellow Kyneton trainer Mick Sell, by .1 of a length.
It was left to her trainer to sum it up best.
"The best thing today is that she won a race," Osborne said.
"I was saying to one of the owners (pre-race) that not once in those six starts for five placings has she given me the confidence in the run she was going to win.
"I guess it was a gutsy win, but going forward I'm not sure where we sit with her.
"She stuck to it, there was plenty of tempo on, they didn't muck around, so it was set up for something to come home hard and (Skylar's Princess) almost got us, but thankfully we held on."
After four runs this preparation for three seconds and an overdue win, the mare is likely headed for a spell.
Beyond that, the future is unclear, according to Osborne.
"I've got all the time in the world for her as a gutsy little horse - she almost never got to the races after her mishap at Bendigo 12 months ago," he said.
"Twenty minutes after the race she's on the operating table fighting for her life. I didn't think she'd get back to the races.
"She's got all my time, but I'm not sure where she sits going forward. We might even think about a broodmare proposition."
In-form jockey Alana Kelly, who was aboard Magnalicious for two of her three seconds this campaign, said it was a tough win, the mare appreciating a reversal in roles after playing the part of pacemaker in most of her races.
"They set up a pretty solid tempo early and she was able to chase from a long way out," she said.
"She beat off the horse in front of her and then to be challenged again late, she was really tough.
"It worked out really good for her, she's sort of been left out in front the last couple of starts, but to have a bunny to chase and challenge her was really good for her.
"Definitely a bride today (Monday), not a bridesmaid."
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