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Can Tempest Tost Win 2009 Winter Stakes?

Magic Millions Trophy winner Tempest Tost was due to arrive in Queensland early on Wednesday morning for a hit and run mission in the Group One Winter Stakes at Eagle Farm.

Tasmanian trainer Gary White cleared the three-year-old filly to clash with boom filly Ortensia in Saturday’s 1400-metre feature after she worked brilliantly over 800 metres at Cranbourne in Victoria on Tuesday.

Jockey Darren Gauci, who rode the Statue Of Liberty filly in her Magic Millions Trophy (1400m) victory at the Gold Coast in January, partnered her in the Cranbourne gallop.

“Darren is rapt in her,” White said.

“After she worked today Darren said she gives him a better feel now than when she won the Magic Millions.”

Tempest Tost, the only Tasmanian to win the Magic Millions Trophy, is part-owned by Geoff Harper, chairman of the Tasmanian Racing Club, in Hobart, and also a delegate to the Australian Racing Board.

He has raced horses for more than 40 years and was formerly involved in the abalone industry in Tasmania

Tempest Tost’s career has been limited to just nine starts due to a knee injury which she carried into the Magic Millions Trophy.

The filly suffers from a knee spur but rather than undergo surgery she has regular treatment where blood is taken from the knee joint and is later injected back to protect cartilage.

“She’s had knee issues and we’ve had to manage her carefully,” White said.

“We thought about an operation but the orthopedic surgeon thought the trauma of an operation was risky and sometimes the calcification from it turns out to be worse.”

White has been one of Tasmania’s most successful trainers with three Launceston Cup wins and two Hobart Cup triumphs but rarely ventures outside his own state or Victoria with stable runners.

Prior to his trip to Queensland for the Magic Millions Trophy, White’s last trip beyond Melbourne was for the 1986 Sydney Cup when he had no luck with Scruples, who finished 14th to Marooned.

Tempest Tost, a $72,500 yearling at the Adelaide Magic Millions sale, will be set for the major fillies and mares races during Melbourne’s spring after she completes her Winter Stakes assignment.

The filly has attracted several large offers from prospective buyers and connections expect more will come if she can break through at Group One level.

A winner of four of her nine starts, she has started only twice since winning the Magic Millions Trophy.

In her comeback appearance on May 9, she finished third against her own sex over 1100 metres at Flemington then weakened to finish fifth to Gold In Dubai over 1200 metres at Caulfield on May 23.

“Her first up run was phenomenal. She went too early that day and carried a lot of weight,” White said.

“I was a little bit soft on her after that run and perhaps I made an error for her last start.”

White is hoping for a rain-affected track at Eagle Farm as Tempest Tost has won two of her three starts on heavy surfaces while Melbourne filly Ortensia is regarded as a better performer on top of the ground.

White may yet get his wish as the Brisbane Weather Bureau has forecast rain ahead of the Eagle Farm meeting.

By Glenn Davis – Courtesy of Aapracing

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