It may have been a year since Giga Kick stepped out for his first metro outing, but Clayton Douglas can remember every detail of the day and every detail of the journey since.
The son of Scissor Kick, who at the time stood for AUD$800 in Tunisia, was sent out a $2.80 favourite for the 1000-metre Trevor Clarke Handicap after an impressive debut win at Sale four months earlier.
Douglas said he wanted to see a good performance to justify the plans for a black-type campaign.
“The plan was always to go to the Vain Stakes second-up,” he said.
“We needed to see a win to warrant going straight to a Group race at only his third start.
“But he’s just such a little professional, he handled the occasion and Matt (Cartwright) rode him really well.”
Despite the impressive victory down the straight, the stable’s operations remained largely the same.
“The phone wasn’t really ringing that much,” Douglas said.
“I think people have their set trainers they use, unless you start consistently training city winners.
“It didn’t change too much in that sense, things stayed pretty similar day-to-day.”
As the two-year-old turned three, and the Vain and Danehill Stakes were claimed with two very gritty wins, James Harron gave the stable its biggest break yet, offering his Everest slot to Giga Kick.
Douglas had previously sent Inverell to run in the G1 Spring Championship Stakes at Randwick but had been unable to make the trip himself due to COVID-19 restrictions.
According to Douglas, preparations were much more ideal in the lead-up to The Everest.
“We had our own truck this time, we were able to stop halfway and do what we liked,” he said.
“He had a really good fortnight leading up to the race, things went really smoothly.”
The youngest horse in the race, Giga Kick and jockey Craig Williams were sent out at odds of $21.
But whilst established superstars Private Eye, Mazu and Nature Strip looked to be fighting out the finish, it would be Giga Kick who would descend from the clouds to claim the $15 million race.
“It was phenomenal … to beat Nature Strip and the likes was just incredible,” Douglas said.
“To come out on top, five from five and having won The Everest with a three-year-old, it was awesome.”
Even off the back of winning Australia’s richest race (and another two G1s since), the stable remains sensibly sized.
One may expect a plethora of new owners to flood through the gates, but instead it has been Douglas’ established supporters who have doubled down on their investments.
“I’ve not really acquired that many big clients,” Douglas said.
“My biggest supporters before all this were OTI Racing and Jonathan Munz and they probably still are at the moment.”
One area Giga Kick’s Everest victory has allowed the stable to expand is in the yearling department.
Douglas has an array of youngsters in his yard and said he wants them to be the bedrock of his stable in the coming years.
“We’re really happy with how we spent and what we acquired,” he said.
“There’s a good variety of well-bred yearlings there … hopefully they can be the future of the stable going forward.”