Le Chef wins Magic Millions Classic

Apprentice Luke Tarrant and Sunshine Coast trainer Darryl Hansen secured the biggest win of their respective careers when Le Chef won Saturday’s $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast.

Le Chef jumped smartly from barrier three and settled behind the leader Carriages who crossed down to the fence from the outside barrier (gate 16).

When Carriages wilted on her effort early in the straight, Le Chef surged to the lead at the 250-metre mark and kept going strong to the line by three-quarters of a length.

Pepperano ($41) finished second with Single Gaze ($9) and the outsider of the field Madotti ($101) next best.

“He’s a gem,” Hansen said of Le Chef, who won last week over the same track and distance to secure his spot in the Magic Millions field.

“He is so laidback for a baby and I said to the owners before the race that I can’t wait to get him to the paddock because he’s going to be a better three-year-old.”

The win completed Hansen’s return to being a major player in Queensland’s biggest races since receiving a six-month disqualification that he served until June 2012.

Hansen trained at Rockhampton before relocating to Sunshine Coast in more recent times.

“It took 20 years to get a good team of horses and then it went downhill and now it’s taken a while to get them back,” Hansen said.

“But at the moment I’ve got some nice horses and they’re racing good.”

For Tarrant, he hoped the victory would demonstrate that he can still ride winners without use of his claim.

“I’ve only got four more wins until I lose my claim. I just want to prove to people that I don’t need to have my claim to ride winners.

“It’s a pleasure just to ride with the guys in the big races – I’m appreciating every moment of it.

Tarrant credited the application of blinkers as the key to Le Chef’s turnaround in form.

“He got a bit lost his first run without the blinkers on. He ran an okay race, about ten lengths from Wicked Intent.

“But Darryl threw the blinkers on and did a perfect job with him after that and he’s won his next three starts.”

Le Chef, who cost $120,000 from last year’s sales, has won $1,199,200 in prizemoney with three victories from four starts.