FORMER Gold Crown finalist Machamillion pounced at the right moment to score victory at Bathurst Paceway on Wednesday night.
Odds-on favourite Machamillion ($1.80) made the most of his drop back in grade to win the Shannon Springs Pace (1,730 metres) for driver-trainer Michael Muscat in a quick mile rate of 1:56.4.
Machamillion – a typical sit and sprint runner – sat midfield during a speedy opening quarter (27.1) and loomed up three wide on the final lap before making his dash for the line.
Peter Bullock’s Swaggie Shannon ($58.20) threw down a late challenge to the leader but came up 1.6 metres shy.
“When they backed off I had to put him in the race. He was a $1.80 favourite so I wanted to make sure he had his chance,” Muscat said.
Wednesday night’s racing was a welcome drop in class for Muscat’s four-year-old.
Machamillion finished third in his heat for the Group 2 Carousel prior to his Bathurst success, where the Penrith track record was broken in his race by The Golden Cross.
“The horses he’s been racing against lately have been against Anything For Love and The Golden Cross. They’re major races in Sydney,” Muscat said.
“He won his heat of the Gold Crown and finished fourth in the final so he does love this track.
“At this stage we’ll just keep racing him through his grades.”
Punters liked his chances coming out to Bathurst, even if he had to contend with a start three wide on the second row.
At the green light Dot Ayou held onto the lead from gate one. Summer Money was caught three wide in the opening stages before finding his way to the death seat.
When the bell sounded Machamillion was urged forward by Muscat to sit three wide alongside the leading pair.
The field began to bunch up after the quick start with a 31.5 second quarter and Muscat’s move made sure the leaders were kept on their toes.
Muscat was content to stay in his three wide position until the field straightened for home.
With 200m left to race Machamillion shot to the front and had only one challenger.
Swaggie Shannon loomed up on Machamillion’s outside but Muscat already had his runner in cruise mode, home safely.
It’s the sixth win in 32 starts for Machamillion, and his 18th placing.
Wee Jimmy ($12.10) won the fight for third.
On a night of consistently quick racing, the race was one of three on Wednesday night to run below the 1:57 mark.