Testa Rossa colt Unencumbered was elevated to the third line of betting for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic after a brilliant lead-up victory at Wyong on Thursday.
The Bjorn Baker trained youngster sprinted strongly in the straight to win the Wyong Magic Millions (1100m) by a length from Melbourne visitor Geromayo. He immediately firmed into $6.50 behind Oakleigh Girl ($4.50) and Echo Gal ($5) for the $2 million Magic Millions Classic on January 11.
“He’s pretty straightforward and has a fantastic attitude, especially for a colt,” Baker said. “He will be a genuine contender up at the Gold Coast.”
Unencumbered (2c Testa Rossa – Blizzardly by More Than Ready) settled well back in the small field before Nathan Berry split the leaders on the corner. He cleared out and, despite being eased down, clocked a race-record 63.39s.
“Full credit to Nathan,” Baker said. “I did tell him to be on the speed but he knows the colt and rode him well.”
The winner’s dam Blizzardly was bred by Vinery and she was a precocious juvenile winning the LR Keith Mackay Stakes at Randwick.
Bred by Newhaven Park and sold at the 2013 sale for $70,000, Unencumbered has now won 3 of his 4 starts with earnings of over $270,000 and more than enough to secure his berth in the $2m Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) set down for January 11 on the Gold Coast.
“I spoke to Bjorn before the race and he said maybe sit outside the leader, and he wanted me close than initially planned,” winning rider Nathan berry explained.
“But I bit the bullet and went against the instructions, mainly because I knew how good this horse is. His main goal is the Magic Millions, and I didn’t want to take him away from his pattern.
“He’s finally learnt to settle. he’s a very, very serious racehorse.”
Testa Rossa, sire of 48 stakes-winners and 47 stakes-placed getters streeted his rivals in the 1999 Magic Millions by 4.3-lens and trained on to win six Group 1 races.
The Vinery stallion has 14 yearlings catalogued for the 2014 Magic Millions yearling sale starting with the filly out of Dubleanny (Lot 345) from home base.
Dubleanny (Dubleo) was a Listed winner of the Creswick Stakes and Straight Six Hcp at Flemington. It’s her first foal and she delivered another filly by Congrats in October.