Vinery sires are poised for a profitable afternoon this Saturday with three spearheads for the $10 million Magic Millions Raceday on the Gold Coast.
Alligator Blood (All Too Hard) is odds-on for the MM 3YO Guineas (1400m), The Candy Man (Casino Prince) is an even-money favourite in the MM Trophy (2020m) while Deep Image (Testa Rossa) is the $4.80 favourite in a wide-open MM Cup (1400m).
And in the signature Magic Millions 2YO Classic, Vinery graduate Farnan has firmed into a $7 second-favourite ahead of Wisdom Of Water (Headwater) who is being kept safe at $10.
Alligator Blood dominates betting at $1.80 for the Magic Millions Guineas. “We’ve got some unfinished business to settle and I’m expecting some sleepless nights this week,” trainer David Vandyke admitted. “The last time we were in a million-dollar race we got grabbed on the line.
“He’s never been in a dogfight – he didn’t see the other horse coming in the Caulfield Guineas – so I don’t know what he can find under pressure. Hopefully, he won’t need to on Saturday.
“He was unextended to win the Vo Rogue Plate last time and I couldn’t have him any better.”
Vinery graduate Exhilarates is on the third-line at $15 in her quest to create history at the Magic Millions. No horse has ever completed the 2YO Classic – 3YO Guineas on the Gold Coast but there are some positives according to Godolphin trainer James Cummings.
“Her run in the Gosford Guineas was good and she’s two-from-two at the Gold Coast. We’ve left this run in the bag for her grand-final at 1400m but she will have to improve to beat the favourite.
“I’ve been very impressed with Alligator Blood. He looks a promising horse.”
Gai Waterhouse is chasing her fifth Magic Millions 2YO Classic RL with Farnan and co-trainer Adrian Bott is confident they have got the right horse to be in the mix again this year.
Vinery sold the unbeaten son of Not A Single Doubt for $550,000 at the 2019 Magic Millions Yearling Sale. “He has been the ultimate professional in both wins to date,” Bott said. “He goes about his business like a good horse and just steps up and responds.
“He was very focused in a gallop around the course-proper on the weekend. Brenton (Avdulla) said he felt sharp and reckons he will be right in the money on Saturday.”
Vinery freshman Headwater can blow the Australian first-season sires’ title wide open if his brilliant colt Wisdom Of Water wins the Magic Millions 2YO Classic. The powerful chestnut will also give trainer Toby Edmonds his second winner of the race following Houtzen in 2017.
“He’s got that much ability,” Edmonds claimed after an eye-catching debut victory in the Gold Nugget on Saturday. “There’s a stack of improvement to come and he will be hard to beat in the Classic.”
Fans of The Candy Man (Casino Prince) will be out in force at the Gold Coast to support the cult-hero in the Magic Millions Trophy (2020m). “He may not be the best horse in Queensland but he’s the most popular,” trainer Barry Baldwin declared. “We got a wild-card into the Trophy after he won at Eagle Farm last month and I would love to win it for the owners Lucky Pippos and Edgar Allen. They have been great supporters of the stable.”
Trainer Rob Heathcote won the 2016 Magic Millions Plate with Buffering (Mossman) and he’s gunning for another Gold Coast feature in the Magic Millions Cup with fellow Vinery-sired galloper Deep Image.
Deep Image (Testa Rossa) is on a hat-trick after wins in the Lough Neagh Stakes LR and The Buffering at Eagle Farm last month. “I went and had a beer with Buffering the other day he’s looking fine in retirement,” Heathcote said. “Deep Image will go into the Magic Millions a very fit horse. He can travel on the pace and that should be a big advantage at the Gold Coast.”
All Too Hard 3yo with stable foreperson Emma Lehmann