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From little-known entry to headline act for Giga Kick

18 October 2022 Written by VRC

Giga Kick was the first horse entered for this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival and now the unbeaten gelding – who only officially turns three on Wednesday – could become the headline act of Australia’s greatest racing event following his stunning victory in The Everest (1200m) last weekend.

However, whether he is seen at the start or the end of the four-day festival is a decision that will be eagerly anticipated by racing fans excited to see the new star of the turf in action.

The Clayton Douglas-trained Giga Kick was entered for the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) in early July, before even the first Lexus Melbourne Cup entries were taken. At the time, he was merely the winner of a Sale maiden.

Soon after, he returned with a 1000m win down the straight at Flemington at his first trip to Headquarters on a brisk day in mid-July before he demonstrated his potential with his win in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield. He backed that up with another stakes win at Flemington, taking the Group 2 HQ Tavern Danehill Stakes (1100m) in a tight finish on TAB Turnbull Stakes Day.

But while he was impressive and gritty against the boys, it was his ability to scorch home against the men and women of Australia’s sprinting ranks that won him plenty of new admirers.

On Saturday, he defeated some of the fastest horses in the land – including Group 1 winners Nature Strip, Private Eye, Mazu, Kementari, Masked Crusader, Eduardo and fellow three-year-old Jacquinot – to take out The Everest at Randwick, stamping himself as the next big drawcard in Australian racing. And, as a gelding, he is set to race on for years to come.

While the $2 million Coolmore Stud Stakes is the logical target for a three-year-old of his quality, Douglas is eyeing off an even bigger prize when he potentially lines up for a rematch with Nature Strip in the $3 million Group 1 VRC Darley Champions Sprint (1200m).

“Nature Strip is likely to go to the Champions Sprint on the last Saturday of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, we’re likely to go to the Coolmore a week before, but if we decide we want to give him another week, there’s a chance we’ll take on Nature Strip again,” he said.

“The three-year-old race is a set-weights race, and with his rating now he’d be very well handicapped and hard to beat. If we’re happy with him he’ll run in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, but we’re more than happy to meet Nature Strip again and I’ll make a call on Saturday. Maybe we run in both!”

The Coolmore Stud Stakes is one of three Group 1 races on Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 29 October, while the VRC Darley Champions Sprint is one of three championship contests on TAB Champions Stakes Day on Saturday 5 November.

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