Cook & Curtis chase bonus in MM Classic

Sydney visitor Meryl goes into the Magic Millions with enough momentum to be one of the main players in the 2YO Classic on Saturday week at the Gold Coast.

Trainer Lee Curtis unleashed the filly to land the G3 B J McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben last Saturday. She delivered a potent kick to win with authority and bookmakers reacted by elevating her to the fifth line of markets for the $2 million Classic.

Jonker is the $3.50 favourite ahead of Ef Troop ($4.50), Sunlight ($7), Bondi ($11) and Meryl ($15).

The Epaulette filly was a bargain buy for Randwick Bloodstock Agency (FBBA) and a ladies syndicate managed by Christine Cook. That also makes her eligible for the $500,000 in bonus payments for the 2YO Classic.

Cook and her husband Frank raced 2016 G1 VRC Oaks winner Lasqueti Spirit with Curtis and Meryl is being touted as the next star for the stable. She cost $150,000 at the 2016 Gold Coast Magic Millions and, after just two starts, that’s a cheap price-tag with $130,000 already in the bank.

“She travelled up in great order from Sydney,” Curtis said. “She worked well at Murwillumbah this week and a break after the Gimcrack Stakes has done her the world of good.

“She will improve further into the Magic Millions. It’s going to be very tough but it’s an exciting time for the ladies.”

Meryl is the first Australian stakes winner by Darley shuttler Epaulette (Commands). Her dam Academy Idol (Made Of Gold) won a Murray Bridge maiden for Mark Minervini and she’s a sister to G3 VRC Gilgai Stakes winner Cosmic Strike.

Randwick Bloodstock Agency owner Brett Howard followed up with Group 1 winning filly Volpe Veloce in New Zealand on New Year’s Day.

Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge) won the G1 Railway Hcp (1200m) at Ellerslie to improve her record to 10 wins 13 starts. She will attempt to maintain her sensational strike-rate in the G1 Telegraph Hcp at Trentham on January 20 and her connections are also considering the G1 Newmarket Hcp at Flemington on March 10.

Howard bought her dam Bardego (Barathea) for $46,000 on behalf of Rushton Park owners David & Kayley Johnson at the 2015 Magic Millions National Sale. She was positive to Foxwedge and the that foal sold for $300,000 to Sheamus Mills Bloodstock (FBAA) at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

The younger sister to Volpe Veloce has been named Zorro Rapido and she will race for SMB client Newton Thoroughbreds.

Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) was formed in 1988 to maintain, improve and develop the standards, status and services of bloodstock agents throughout Australia. Its members operate with the utmost integrity and professionalism and are bound by the strict Industry Code of Conduct.

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