Final Chill’s improved form has surprised many, not least the gelding’s trainer.
Kieran McDonagh admits he had doubts Final Chill would reach his current heights but after a string of victories his opinion has been swayed.
Final Chill has exceeded expectations with consecutive wins and will chase a fourth victory in the Jericho Cup Qualifier (3100m) at Albany on Monday.
McDonagh said the son of Maschino has certainly been a pleasant surprise packet.
“It’s great to finally figure him out, it only took me about 20 starts,” McDonagh told The Races WA.
“He’s quite lazy to be honest and that’s the hard part.
“You could never get a gauge on his work.
“I had two-year-olds that were beating him in gallops.
“We didn’t think he was that much chop to be honest
“I don’t think he has won a gallop in his life.
“I can’t really process what’s happening because a couple of months ago I didn’t think he could win a mid-week race, let alone a Saturday.
“He has just come out of nowhere.
“Maybe it’s been a bit of maturity and time.
“And the breed, I love Maschino’s and they get better with age.”
Like most of his rivals, Final Chill steps up to new territory in the Jericho Mile, going up to 3100m, but it will hold no fears according to McDonagh.
“3100m is no problem at all,” McDonagh said.
“If anything, he will be better at that distance.
“I think it will be no problem.”
Final Chill has stolen a march on McDonagh’s stable flag-bearers Cockney Crew and Lord Lonsdale.
Cockney Crew has yet to hit his straps with minor injuries plaguing him since runner up finishes to Regal Power in the WA Derby (2400m) and Melvista Stakes (2200m).
Lord Lonsdale ran fourth to Prized Nemesis as favourite when first up last month.
McDonagh said Final Chill’s run of success arrived at a fortuitous time for his stable.
“Every stable goes through a little bit of a lean period,” McDonagh said.
“For a couple of months there was a lean period and it makes it harder to get out of bed in the mornings in the dark and stuff.
“You are kind of searching for a winner and it’s funny that the horse you least expect starts winning.
“It’s very relieving and a monkey off the back.”