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12/01/02 Ha Ha The Queen Takes Millions Trophy
0112scale.jpg (17264 bytes)John Singleton's dream of winning one of the feature Magic Millions races has been realised by the win of his brilliant filly Ha Ha in the $821,450 Conrad Jupiters Magic Millions 3YO Trophy (1400m) on the Gold Coast today.

The Gai Waterhouse trained filly was given a perfect run by Jim Cassidy, parked just off the pace set by the runner-up Empire.

At the post the daughter of Danehill had grabbed the filly and drew away to win by a long neck. The Melbourne galloper Dash for Cash finished third another length and a quarter back.

Waterhouse was not surprisingly delighted with the performance of the filly who had given the leading lady trainer her first Golden Slipper winner last year.

0112gaijimprerace.jpg (16447 bytes)"She is such a brave horse. A real pleasure to train," Waterhouse said.

Future plans for Ha Ha may involve tackling the country's leading milers in Group One class in Sydney.

"A race like the Doncaster Handicap should suit her well. That would probably be the ultimate aim with her now," Waterhouse added.

Winning rider Jim Cassidy said the race turned out perfectly to plan, giving him the run he was looking for.

"We'd planned to be in the first three of four runners during the race and it turned out exactly that way."

"Into the home straight she was still travelling well and she was able to comfortably pick up the other horse (Empire), which gave a bold sight," Cassidy said.

0112hats.jpg (17332 bytes)Cassidy then heaped all of the praise onto Waterhouse who he commonly describes as "freakish."

"It was a great effort by Gai to be able to get her in such great condition today."

"After her successful preparation in Sydney and a hit and run trip to Melbourne it was a fine training effort to have her in peak fitness for today," Cassidy added.

While Cassidy was throwing compliments toward the winning trainer, Waterhouse was returning them in style.

"Jimmy is just a brilliant rider," Waterhouse said.

0112rugshot.jpg (13422 bytes)"He's in great form at the moment as well. You'd say he's in a real purple patch," she added.

Waterhouse said she wasn't overly concerned with the blistering heat, which seen the temperature soar to over 42 degrees - the hottest day on the Gold Coast for 100 years.

"Many feel that fillies and mares struggle in the hot conditions but my dad (TJ Smith) said that the conditions in fact helped a number of his horses in the past."

"He sent many horses across the Nullarbor to Perth during heatwaves and many seemed to thrive in the conditions. This filly (Ha Ha) has been exactly like that up here in Queensland."

"In fact I would say she has really blossomed in the past 48 hours," Waterhouse said after the win.

0112singo.jpg (15459 bytes)For Singleton the win was a triumph. He is one of the three Magic Millions Directors and had placed in last year's two-year-old classic with the same filly.

"That was special. It's great to win one of these races," Singleton said moments after his classy filly galloped into history.

In his usual extravagant fashion Singleton announced her would shout the bar - but not at the races, rather during the third session of his Yearling Sale where "they sell the right kind of beer."

Ha Ha stopped the clock in 1 minute 20.38 seconds, just five hundredths outside of Play Station's track record.

The winner was bred by Collingrove Stud and was sold for $200,000 at the Magic Millions Sale on the Gold Coast in 2000.

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