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80-year-old Mills trains rare city winner

An 80-year-old trainer with one horse has shown he still has what it takes to match it on Sydney’s competitive racing circuit.

David Mills has been training horses for more than 50 years and proved he still knew how to get a horse primed when Satirical Magic won the Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury on Wednesday.

It took the judge to separate Satirical Magic ($13) from the Hawkes Racing-trained Kandinsky, who was sent out $2.70 favourite.

Mills said the winning feeling still felt amazing.

“I can just manage one on my own myself and I’m quite happy to do that,” Mills said.

Mills said he trialled the horse and gave him a jump-out to tune him up to run well first-up.

“When he drew an alley I said ‘he’s an each-way special’,” Mills said.

He said Satirical Magic was above average but no world-beater.

“We won’t get too enthusiastic with him but he’s paying his way so we’ll just keep him pottering along,” Mills said.

Satirical Magic’s jockey, apprentice Matthew McGillivray, now has a handful of metropolitan winners since coming to Sydney earlier in the year.

“I knew he had a good turn of foot when I saw his run first-up last prep,” McGillivray said.

“All we needed to do was balance up and run down the leader.”

Potent Force’s trainer James Cummings has a “cheeky little race” in mind after the horse won the TAB Plate over 1550m.

Cummings said he wanted to talk to owners Gooree Park Stud before revealing his plan.

“You can go one way or the other at this time of year – through their grades or in the deep end,” Cummings said.

“It was a good strong staying performance from a young horse like him.”

Koby Jennings scored maximum points in the second heat of the Rising Star series for apprentice jockeys with an easy win aboard Super Maxi in the Ranvet’s Salkavite Handicap (1100m).

Super Maxi’s co-trainer Michael Hawkes said gelding the horse had been key to unlocking his ability.

“This horse has got above average ability,” Hawkes said.

“He’s hitting the picture at the right time and he’s definitely going places

Gerald Ryan-trained filly Suspenders took out the first race and will either target a stakes race during the Melbourne spring carnival or be saved for the Magic Millions three-year-old classic in January.

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