The legacy of Tony Arnold's late wife lives on in Magic Millions aspirant Champagne Cath, a debut winner at Rosehill on Saturday.
Arnold's wife Cath lost her long battle with breast cancer on Melbourne Cup day last year but among her wishes was that Tony and their friends continue to enjoy racing together.
The Chris Waller-trained filly is aptly named for Cath Arnold and her colours represent the pink of breast cancer fund raising and champagne flutes for her love of life.
"When she died one of her last wishes was for me to form a syndicate with my friends and buy a horse," Arnold said.
"I was feeling a mix of emotions before the race like a footballer with that knot in his stomach before he goes out to play and this is a great thrill.
"Cath was only 49 when she died. She fought the disease for 11 years.
"She was always positive, inspirational about what she was going through.
"I'm booked to go to Canada for a holiday in January but the other owners are already telling me I'll have to fly back for the Magic Millions."
Waller said Champagne Cath gave every indication she would be better as a three-year-old but would be given her chance in the Magic Millions Classic if she pulled up well.
"She is a very athletic horse who will be better as a three-year-old," Waller said.
"But she is in the Magic Millions and as long as she comes through OK she will get her chance there."
Sent out favourite, Champagne Cath ($3.10) led most of the way to beat Gracious Prospect ($6) by 3-1/4 lengths in a slick 1:10.20 for the 1200m of the Blackwoods Alemlube Handicap.
The filly brought up the second leg of a treble in the first three races for Waller, sandwiched between Hawkspur and Heart Testa who is also bound for the Magic Millions carnival.
The three-year-old, who is co-owned by Magic Millions proprietor Gerry Harvey, brought up his third win from three starts in the Blackwoods Industries Handicap (1200m).
"He is a very nice horse who doesn't show much at home but turns up on race day," Waller said.
"He will more than likely go the Magic Millions Guineas."
Corey Brown rode the first two of Waller's winners while Jason Collett was aboard all-the-way winner Heart Testa, a dominant $1.70 favourite.