Ballarat Feature Winners Eye Gold Coast

Claro el Banco lived up to his trial form and earned a trip to Queensland after scoring a dazzling win in today's $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) at Ballarat.

One of three recent jump out winners in the clockwise direction earlier this month, Claro el Banco showed speed throughout to score a tough win over Gai Waterhouse's Sydney visitor Preferito and the Noonan family's debutant She's Positive.

Claro el Banco was the only juvenile in today's race to have had race experience - at the recent Flemington Carnival he finished down the track in the Maribyrnong Trial.

"He just got lost that day on a big day," jockey Craig Newitt said. "He had trialled brilliantly before and after that race and he lived up to that with an impressive win."

Winning trainer Jason Petch said the gelding would now be aimed at the $2 million Jeep Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on January 9.

"I'll put him away for two weeks and now and then we'll get him ready for the Gold Coast Magic Millions."

"What a magnificent win. He's had to use him up to the first corner - there he is three (lengths) in front and never shirked the task."

"I'm just so proud of the horse," Petch added.

Claro el Banco, an $80,000 purchase from the Rosemont Stud draft at January's Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, is the first winner from two to race for his dam, the four time winner and city placed Magic By Gosh.

A daughter of Magic Albert, Magic By Gosh won at two and rounded out her career with the four wins at distances from 1000 to 1200 metres.

Claro el Banco is one of 449 winners for Storm Cat's Royal Ascot group winning son Statue of Liberty - a horse best known in Australia as the sire of superstar sprinter Hay List.

Meanwhile, star Victorian jockey Chris Symons made a triumphant return to the track at Ballarat when he partnered Murt the Flirt to success in the $100,000 Magic Millions Ballarat 3&4YO Classic (1100m).

Symons, who hadn't ridden since a fall at Bendigo in June, was all smiles when he returned to scale and said the win meant plenty on a horse and for a trainer he had strong links with.

"It's great because he's one of the first horses I started riding when I came back," Symons said. "Brendan has been a massive supporter of mine."

The win by Murt the Flirt was the third in three runs at Ballarat for the son of Murtajill and trainer Brendan McCarthy was suitably impressed with the performance fresh.

"First up it was a big effort and he did it beautifully," McCarthy reported.

Murt the Flirt is the first runner to date for his dam, the Taimazov mare Loves Attention. Unraced, Loves Attention is a half sister to the former quality juvenile and prominent Victorian based sire Written Tycoon - himself a graduate of the Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Murt the Flirt was purchased by Steve and Ceri Jostlear of Ampulla Lodge from the Patinack Farm draft for $22,000 at the 2012 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale. He was then offered at the 2013 Adelaide Yearling Sale but he failed to reach his reserve.

Seven years earlier at the National Weanling Sale his sire Murtajill set an Australasian record when he sold to Tim Stakemire for $660,000. As a two-year-old he won the Group Three Skyline Stakes in track record time.

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