NEWCASTLE four-year-old Magicalease’s comeback to racing after a serious injury gained momentum when the gelding toughed out a narrow victory at Newcastle on Saturday.
Trained by Alan Scorse, Magicalease stepped out in the 1400-metre Colts and Geldings Class 1 Handicap, in which he was a solid $3.40 second favourite.
Australian and Newcastle Hall of Famer Robert Thompson was aboard Magicalease and the evergreen hoop placed the horse in the one-out, one-back spot from the start.
Favourite Cuba set the pace but he gave in without a kick at the top of the straight.
Spring Creek Star took the lead but Magicalease won a titanic battle by a head.
Magicalease is now undefeated in two starts since returning from a 16-month enforced lay-off after suffering a serious tendon injury.
He was successful first-up at Scone on October 27.
The winner has a large group of owners and there were jubilant scenes and pats on the back for Scorse as the horse returned to scale after the win. The principal owner is retired ABC commentator Alan Marks, a long-time supporter of the Scorse stable.
Scorse hasn’t been enjoying the best of health in recent years but a recent good report from his specialist and the success of Magicalease has been a great boost to the former Group 1-winning jockey.
“This horse had close to 12 months in the paddock after he suffered a tendon injury,” Scorse said.
“I always had a good opinion of Magicalease and he showed staying potential before he broke down … Robert rode him a treat but the horse is still learning the caper and RT said that he he hit the front at the 200 metres, Magicalease thought the race was over.
“Robert had to rev him up and give him a couple of cracks of the whip.”
It was a successful day for local trainers with Kris Lees and David Atkins also in the winners’ circle.
Lees had a win in the 900-metre Maiden with Kettering, and the Atkins-trained Fuchu landed a huge plunge in the 1400-metre Maiden.
Bookmakers offered as much as $5 on Thursday but Fuchu had tightened to $2.60 by the time the race started.