Premier trainer Tony Gollan could barely contain his glee when tough gelding I'm A Rippa sailed over the $1 million mark by winning the Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich.
Gollan has trained two previous horses to be millionaires - the Boom brothers, Spirit Of Boom ($2.4 million) and Temple Of Boom ($1.9 million) - but he admits I'm A Rippa gives him a special thrill.
The gelding ($7.50) defied Saturday's race pattern to lead all the way and beat Tyzone ($3.60) by half a head, with 2-1/2 lengths to Privlaka ($19) in third place.
Gollan smiled broadly as he was swamped by I'm A Rippa's dozen owners.
"The Boom brothers were both Group One horses but this bloke has won $1 million on sheer guts. He's just a tough little bloke who never gives in," Gollan said.
"This time last year he was a restricted class horse and now he's won a Magic Millions QTIS race, a BRC Sprint and an Eye Liner Stakes.
"He spelled so well and since he's come back he's really been a preparation ahead of what I thought he could do."
Gollan had planned to take I'm A Rippa to the Glasshouse Sprint at Caloundra on June 30 but that plan is up in the air.
"I might spell him for the spring or the Brisbane summer," Gollan said.
Winning jockey Jim Byrne said I'm A Rippa never gave in during a fight and was the same case on Saturday.
"He really is a tough little bloke," Byrne said.
Trent Edmonds, stable foreman for his father, Toby Edmonds, said Tyzone had his chance and had tried hard.
Trainer Robert Heathcote was also pleased with the run of Privlaka, who came from well back.
"He just need a split in the straight and it didn't come. He could have easily won," he said.
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