By Glenn Davis
Former Victorian Mighty Like launched his new Queensland career in style with an impressive first-up win at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Ridden by Matt McGillivray, Mighty Like burst from the ruck to down Raido by a neck in the Aquis Farm Pre-Training & Agistment Open Handicap (1200m).
Zumbelina finished third, further 1-1/4 lengths away.
Mighty Like was having his first Queensland start for trainer Kelly Schweida after winning 10 times from 44 starts in Victoria for Caulfield trainer Mick Price.
The eight-year-old went into the race with a barrier trial win at Doomben last month and had an impressive record first-up with four wins and two placings from seven starts.
It was his first win since July 2016 and only his second since claiming the Listed John Dillon Stakes at Caulfield the same year.
Mighty Like is part-owned by Kris Thomas who bought the gelding off Price and sent him to Schweida to train.
“He’s been working well since I got him and won a trial and his blood count was good,” Schweida said.
“I knew he had a good fresh record so I was hopeful he’d run well.
“It’s Kris’ first metropolitan winner.”
Meanwhile Gold Coast galloper Aqua Vite cheated death twice to win his second metropolitan race in the AquisRace2Win.com Syndication Benchmark 90 Handicap (1800m).
Ridden perfectly by Robbie Fradd, Aqua Vite stuck to the fence before going on to down Slydini by one length with Don’t Tell Mamma, only a neck away, third.
Trainer Scott Morrisey was also successful with Beacon Street who broke her maiden status only a few hours earlier at Ipswich.
“The vets didn’t think he would make it after he got colitis about 14 months ago then we nearly lost him again when he wouldn’t eat,” Morrisey said.
“It’s a credit to the horse to come back from it as I’ve seen a lot who don’t.”
Aqua Vite has been a model of consistency with three wins from nine starts this preparation.
The only time he was out of a placing was when he ran fourth at Doomben in November.
Morrisey is undecided about the four-year-old’s future campaign and may look for a suitable race later this month.
“He might have another run if there’s something suitable for him,” he said.
“Otherwise, he may have a short break and get ready for the winter.
‘I’m not saying he’s up to any of the big winter races but he’d be suited in some of the second-tier races.”
Earlier Endless Day assured himself of a start in the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy next Saturday when he downed The Rumour File by 1-3/4 lengths in the Aquis Farm Racehorse Retirement Handicap (2200m).
Co-trainer Will Hulbert pulled a master stroke by replacing blinkers with winkers on the four-year-old who is a noted wet-tracker.
“It will be a dream to have a runner in a $1 million race,” Hulbert said.
Hulbert’s father, Peter, won the Magic Millions Fillies & Mares race with Endless Day’s half sister Endless Shadow in 2015.
Racing Queensland webnews January 6