Vinery Stud’s perfect clearance-rate at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale this week can transition into some major prizemoney at the Magic Millions Raceday tomorrow.
At the end of another remarkable session on Thursday, Vinery met the market with the first 12 lots of its draft all finding new homes for turnover exceeding $3.50 million.
The remaining 9 yearlings will go through the ring on Friday, Sunday and Monday which leaves this Saturday relatively stress-free around Stables H & I. But there will be no let up across the road with Vinery sires and graduates vying for more than $10 million in prizemoney.
Press Statement is in pole position in Race 1 with Newsreader who has opened a $4 favourite for the $250,000 Magic Millions Maiden Plate (1200m). The John O’Shea-trained filly finished fourth to Forbidden Love in the Reginald Allen Hcp LR in October and she tuned up with a winning trial back at Randwick last Thursday.
Vinery graduate Exhilarates (Snitzel) returns to the Gold Coast for the fourth year in a row in Race 4. Bought by Godolphin for $600,000 at the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions, she cleared that price-tag winning the 2019 Magic Millions 2yo Classic RL and finishing a close third in the 2020 Magic Millions 3yo Guineas RL.
Exhilarates will be given time to find her feet from a wide draw but will be flooding home for James McDonald in the $1 million Snippets Plate (1200m).
Press Statement can blow away the big-name stallions with his colt Baby Wong in the $2 million Magic Millions 2yo Classic RL. Trainer Steve Jones has added blinkers and is confident that will ensure a good getaway from an inner gate.
Jones warmed up for the big occasion watching his More Than Ready gelding Photogenic win at Gunnedah on Thursday. “We’ve gone from winkers to blinkers and that should switch him on this Saturday. He’s done enormous in the last week and hopefully he won’t be far away on the corner.”
Trainer Kelly Schweida has also elected to swap winkers for a visor on his Star Turn filly Miss Hipstar. “She was a bit slow out last week and the visor should help her to see the others when she breaks from the gates,” he said. “I felt a bit sick when she came up with barrier 19 but she deserves her place in the race.”
Schweida has been active at the yearling sale this week and his buys included a $380,000 More Than Ready full-sister to Spring Heat who gets her chance to win a Group 1 in the Telegraph Hcp (1200m) at Trentham on Saturday.
Headwater filly You’ll Be Mist is flying under the radar for trainer Darryl Hansen and jockey Jim Byrne in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic. She will have to lift again following two Sunshine Coast wins but is being kept safe at $18 by the TAB.
All Too Hard can double up with Forbidden Love in the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) and Outrageous in the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m).
Forbidden Love is a $5 second-favourite behind home-state star Isotope. “She’s a good filly and I think 1400m is her right distance,” trainer Richard Freedman said. “She just keeps improving and that goes with the breed. The All Too Hards seem to get better as three year-olds.”
Outrageous is back in the Sunshine State for the first time since the 2019 Queensland Guineas Gr.2. Aquis Farm bought his Snitzel half-brother for $600,000 on Wednesday.
In New Zealand, Press Statement can kick-start Saturday with his 2yo colt Ansu in the Wellesley Stakes LR at Trentham. A winner on debut a fortnight ago, he faces a stiff rise in grade but is on the second-line at $4.60 behind odds-on favourite Quattro Quinta.
The Group 1 Telegraph Stakes (1200m) highlights the meeting and Testa Rossa veteran Enzo’s Lad will make history if he can win the feature sprint for a third time. “He just seems to thrive at this time of the year and he loves Trentham,” co-trainer Matthew Pitman said. “He’s better than last year when he did all that travelling to England and Hong Kong.
“He’s an 8yo now but doesn’t know it. We’ve been really happy with him and, if anything, he’s stronger than when he won his first Telegraph.”