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$200 purchase has a chance at Group 1 glory

By Duane Ranger

The horse with the $200 price tag will line up in Saturday night’s only Group 1 $100,000 race of the season at Redcliffe Paceway.

The John McMullen-trained Melton Insulted will start from gate four in the 2020 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sale Race Series for the two-year-old pacers.

Four of the 11 starters are fillies, and have drawn one to four due to the preferential barrier draw for the girls.

It’s the 12th year the 1,780m mobile will be have been staged, and one breeder who has been there since day one is Toogoolawah’s George Michael.

Michael, who runs Melton Stud, said he was hoping Melton Insulted can give him his first Sales Series Final victory.

“No-one wanted my horse at the sale, so I bought her back for $200,” Michael said.

“No-one ever buys my horses, I have no idea why; I knew how well-bred this one was, but the public seem to be ignorant to all that, totally overlooking my horses for years.

“That’s why I called this one Melton Insulted, I really felt insulted, again.

“She’s up against the boys on Saturday, but is improving all the time.

“Manila Playboy (7), who is likely to be the favourite, has drawn awkwardly on the second line and if my girl can get away from the gate well, and she should be handy.

“For $200, she’s already paid back her purchase price in six starts, and is now in line for a chance at $100,000.

“In saying that she’s going to have to improve a few lengths to get near the good ones.”

Michael reminisces about past iterations of the race, and recalls that he should have won the inaugural Sales Series 2YO Final 12 years ago.

“I bred the favourite that year (Rudmore Ali) and he should have won the race, but fell - the new owners paid just $500 for him,” he said.

“In 2002 I sold eight colts by my stallion Bonamax, and I averaged $800 per sale and three of them went on to win $250,000.”

As expected, winning Saturday’s Group 1 event would be a dream come true for Michael.

“I’ve supported it for so long, it would be bigger than winning the Interdominion Grand Final, that’s how much it means to me - I’m a proud horseman and a very proud breeder,” he said.

Michael is no stranger to Interdominion success either, he bred Melton Luciand to win a heat of the Interdominion Championship at Auckland’s Alexandra Park in 1999, going on to win 20 races and $135,350.

Melton Insulted, who is by the late Hurrikane Kingcole, is the only foal out of unraced 2007 Bonamax.

She has had six starts since making her debut sixth place at Redcliffe Paceway on May 6, and previously won two trials at Albion Park and Redcliffe in January and April.

“She’s getting stronger with each run, as her form-line suggests and she has ran two nice thirds in her last couple of runs,” Michael said.

“I was delighted that she did enough to make the final, that means a lot to me.”

John McMullen's son in Peter has been listed to drive Melton Insulted, while simultaneously down to drive first emergency, Justa Little Bit (5), who is trained by his wife Chantal Turpin at Patrick Estate.

Even after drawing one on the second line, the Shane Fraser-bred and Kelli Dawson-driven Manila Playboy is going to take all sorts of beating.

The Pet Rock gelding was a convincing winner at Albion Park on debut on May 5, before breaking and finishing 10th in the Listed QBRED Breeders Classic Final on May 23.

Dawson will drive Manila Playboy for the fourth consecutive time.

Manila Playboy settled at the rear from his wide front row draw that night and then broke when making a likely bid at the 400-metre marker.

He then rebounded to win by 6.2 metres in the Sale Series second heat at Redcliffe last Friday night.

Fraser bred and owns the talented bay, who is out of the 11-win ($45,595) 2005 P B Bulville chestnut mare, Bangkok Dancer.

Gold Coast-based Fraser bought back Manila Playboy at the 2019 Redcliffe Yearling Sale for a paltry $8,000.