Trainer to target Millions

VETERAN Gold Coast trainer Howard Wilson could be looking at one of his biggest paydays next January following the explosive win of Fifteen Carat at Eagle Farm at the weekend.

Fifteen Carat, ridden by Stathi Katsidis, stormed home from near last on the home turn for a neck win over Fantastic Blue in Saturday’s QR Reds Handicap (1400m).

Wilson, a former trotting trainer at Kembla Grange south of Sydney early in his career, was surprised with the son of Show A Heart’s win.

“I thought he got beat but it was a big win,” Wilson said.

“It’s been over 12 months since I’ve won a Saturday race in town and it was a very impressive win.

“He’s only lightly framed so I’ll put him away now for a couple of weeks before aiming for the Magic Millions (Trophy).”

The $1 million Magic Millions Trophy (1400m) will be run at the Gold Coast on January 9.

Wilson paid only $25,000 for Fifteen Carat as a yearling before later knocking back $80,000 for him at the Ready-To-Run sale on the Gold Coast.

“We got him cheaply because he had an abscess on his throat,” Wilson said.

“Everyone shied away because they thought he might have had strangles.”

Katsidis rated Fifteen Carat the best maiden galloper in Australia before the race.

“He was unlucky the two times I rode him at Eagle Farm and the Gold Coast before he raced at Doomben last time,” Katsidis said.

Katsidis was a little concerned when he was legged up on Fifteen Carat in the enclosure but later admitted he was stunned by his winning effort.

“Looking at him in the enclosure I thought he still had a bit of growing to do,” Katsidis said.

“When we were so far back on the home turn I thought he had to be very good to win from there. He was still a long way off them at the 100 metres and no other horse would have won.”

Wilson has been a successful trainer on the Gold Coast for almost 30 years but until recently has been down on numbers.

“I’m back up to about 15 in work now,” he said.

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