Ballina colt just short in Millions
KEVIN NIPPERESS' tilt at the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy for three-year-olds (1400m) at the Gold Coast yesterday ended in a spine-tingling fifth. The Ballina trainer was justifiably proud of his colt Court Award which finished just out of the money in one of the biggest meetings on the racing calendar.
Heart of the Citi, trained by Brisbane's Pat Duff, streeted the field to win by a length and three-quarters, with Wind Shear second and favourite Absolut Glam third. Heart of the Citi connections picked up $570,000 of the $1 million prizemoney.
Cent Per Cent claimed the $25,000 fourth-place prize, while Court Award finished out of the money leaving Nipperess non-plussed.
"No-one can believe that there is no money for fifth in a place like this," he said.
"It was an absolute bottling race he run.
"The track didn't suit him because it was a little bit cut up and he likes it really good.
"But he ran an enormous race."
Court Award battled on hard after drawing barrier 12. "He was entitled to drop out because of the wide draw but he was only beaten a nose for fourth," Nipperess said.
"I'll give him two weeks rest and then sit down and work out where we go next.
"He's right up to the top notch. I was told up here that the first day he draws a good barrier, look out."
Yesterday was the first time Nipperess, who is 70 and has been training on the Far North Coast for 50 years, has had a runner in the Magic Millions.