More Millard Magic On Sunday?

Who recalls the 1995 J&B Met? Watch it here

Just 25 years ago, Tony Millard saddled the J&B Met exacta.

On Sunday he looks to repeat one of his biggest days at Sha Tin.

The year was 2011 and the exceptional Ambitious Dragon (pictured above) won the Gr1 QEII Cup. Tony will saddle the talented duo Glorious Dragon and Elusive State in the HK$25 million feature three days from now.

But today, we remember his J&B Met exacta. A remarkable enough training feat; but to do so with a pair of horses that had both been laid up with tendon injuries elevated him to a level so near that of his legendary father as makes no difference.

The 28 January 1995 Gr1 J&B Met lifted Surfing Home to millionaire status, and there can be few seven figure earners who deserved it more than the gigantic American import.

1995 Gr1 J&B Met

Surfing Home wins the 1995 Gr1 J&B Met

Predictably, the lack of a true frontrunner in the Met field saw Jeff Lloyd and Surfing Home set a reasonable pace, but one that was by no means strong.

Queen’s Plate winner Crimson Waves and sole three-year-old Counter Action stalked  Lloyd’s mount, while Muis Roberts kept well in touch aboard second Millard entry Waitara.

Crimson Waves and Counter Action disappeared from sight soon after turning for home, which left Waitara to set sail after Surfing Home.

That Millard would win his second Met in three years was something of a foregone conclusion half way down the straight. Waitara mounted a challenge, but Surfing Home is a notoriously difficult horse to overtake when he’s in front.

He clearly has a heart to match his generous physique, and he kept on going to beat Waitara by almost one length while conceding the runner-up 3.5 kgs. Imperial Despatch and Rusty Pelican filled the minor placings, yet again running to within inches of the form they showed in both the Daily News 2000 and Rothmans July last year.

1995 Gr1 J&B Met

Surfing Home – proudlly poses in the 1995 Gr1 J&B Met winner’s box

They also completed a Met quartet for Gauteng-trained horses, which doesn’t’ do much for the theory that Johannesburg raiders are at a disadvantage when they race in Cape Town.

Counter Action appeared not to stay the trip, while Crimson Waves pulled up last of all after possibly failing to cope with the unseasonably soft track.

Spare a thought for the connections of Crystal’s Garter, who nearly impaled himself on a fence after breaking loose during the pre-race parade.

The form shown by Imperial Despatch and Rusty Pelican suggests that Crystal’s Garter would have been in with a real shout of winning the Met; he was meeting them on between 2.5 kgs and 3 kgs better terms for a beating of little over two lengths in the Daily News 2000 and on that form was handicapped with a winner’s chance.

On the other hand, he might have had as much joy trying to get past Surfing Home as everyone else, which yet again makes you wonder just what the Rothmans July result would have been had the ‘Yank Tank’ not taken a scenic meander down the Greyville straight.

Tony Millard won the Met two years earlier when Anton Marcus steered the ‘Galloping Goldmine’ to victory.

Watch the ’95 Met here

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