THREE wins from three starts; it's an impressive record no matter which way you look at it.
Port Macquarie four-year-old gelding Magnalane maintained his 100 percent winning record at Taree when he held on to win the Mid North Coast Country Championships Qualifier on Sunday.
But it was only just.
The win ensured trainer Jenny Graham will have another crack at $500,000 at Randwick Racecourse in the Country Championships final on April 4.
"It would be nice if I could take Taree to Randwick," she said.
Graham believed jockey Samantha Clenton positioned Magnalane perfectly despite drawing the widest barrier before she timed her run to perfection when they turned for home.
"We left it up to her to the point of 'just ride it how you feel it' and I couldn't have asked her to do it any better," Graham said.
"She does ride him in Sydney and she's a single-class rider."
Luckily the race wasn't anything more than 1400 metres.
"The second horse wouldn't have needed it to be much longer," Graham said of a nerve-wracking final 50 metres.
Magnalane's disrupted preparation due to the wet weather had Graham doubting pre-race if she had done the necessary work, but it turned out to be just enough.
"I was unsure about missing a few trials and the work he had going into the race so I was doing a little bit of guesswork," she said.
Graham had success with Victorem in 2018, but she knows that doesn't guarantee a win two years later.
"Every horse is different, that's for sure," she said.
"I think you stick to a reasonable pattern that does work for you and I like to lead into my races as best I can."
While weather conditions are out of anyone's hands, a similar track condition to Taree features highly on Graham's wishlist.
"I'd like it not to be too hard, he does like a little bit cut out of the ground," she said.
Nothing will change too much in lead-up to the final in six weeks; Graham knows what she's doing.
"The horse will likely only trial before he goes to Sydney so we may have a jumpout trial," she said.
"I won't give him another run in between, so hopefully we can get the trial to make him a little bit tougher going into the race."
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