Trainer Tony McEvoy is not too concerned after his brilliant filly Sunlight drew a double digit barrier for the 2018 $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Sunlight draw barrier fifteen out of twenty-one in the original draw but is likely to jump from gate twelve when the field is reduced to sixteen runners with three of the five emergencies drawing inside of her.
Sunlight is the winner of two of her three race starts and scored from the front in both those wins at the Gold Coast on December 23 over 900m and on January 6 over 1100m.
McEvoy said that the Zoustar filly doesn’t have to lead in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic and even though he was hoping for a better barrier, he will be happy to see Luke Currie settle her just behind the leaders.
“I just didn’t want to draw completely out or completely in,” McEvoy said.
“So the way the track is racing at the Gold Coast, I think that barrier with her speed allows her to take her time to go forward and she will be right on the back of whatever the speed is.”
“I think the other helpful thing for me is with Ef Troop drawing eighteen, I think he has got to do what last year’s winner did (Houtzen led from a wide barrier) and we will work off the back of him.”
The South Australian based McEvoy has given Sunlight every chance to acclimatize to Queensland’s summer heat and brought the filly North at the beginning of December.
“We leant a little bit from last year. I brought two up last year and never got there,” McEvoy said.
“It is a really difficult race to win from down South. You have a long way to come, this humidity, we don’t get that at home.”
“So my two have been here for six weeks, they feel like they are local and Sunlight is certainly looking local to me.”
“I have been watching this race for a long time, it is a high pressure contest. It is a true Grand Final and in Grand Finals you need to be one hundred per cent at your best and I think this filly having had the trial and two runs up here and the run last week, she pulled up so clean and so fit and ready and I have just been able to nurse her this week.”
“I am really relaxed going in and hope she is good enough.”
McEvoy will also saddle up All American colt Crockett (Jamie Kah) who drew the middle of the pack at ten and could move in one sport at start time.
The Tony Gollan trained Ef Troop was out of luck at the barrier draw, coming up with the eighteen marble, but could jump from thirteen while David Atkins’ two year old Jonker came up trumps with barrier three and looks likely to move into two at start time.
Ef Troop is undefeated from two race starts which includes his latest all the way victory for regular rider Matthew McGillivray in the Listed $100,000 Phelan Ready Stakes (1110m) at Doomben on December 16.
Hugh Bowman takes the mount on Jonker who has also raced on the pace for two wins from two starts for Aaron Bullock who steered the Spirit Of Boom colt to an effortless four and a quarter lengths win in the $200,000 Wyong Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1100m) at Wyong on December 21.
Following the barrier draw Sunlight and Ef Troop remain as the joint favourites at $4.40 for the Magic Millions 2yo Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au with Jonker breathing down their necks at $4.60.
Betting for the 2018 Magic Millions 2yo Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.40 Ef Troop, Sunlight, $4.60 Jonker, $11 Nomothaj, $15 Bondi, Meryl, $17 Secret Lady, $21 Outback Barbie, $26 Legislation, Witherspoon, Crockett, $34 Quackerjack, Anthemoessa, $41 Fullazaboot, $51 Skyray, Terminology, $67 Whiskey Shooter. $81 Paquirri, $101 Catastrophic, $201 Spirit’s Pride, Sugar Sizzle.
Final field and barrier draw for the 2018 Magic Millions 2yo Classic
|1||11||JONKER||David Atkins||Hugh Bowman||3||57kg|
|2||11||EF TROOP||Tony Gollan||Matthew McGillivray||18||57kg|
|3||0x11||QUACKERJACK||Mark Newnham||Koby Jennings||19||57kg|
|4||1×4||LEGISLATION||Peter & Paul Snowden||Damian Browne||7||57kg|
|5||12||FULLAZABOOT||Stuart Kendrick||Tye Angland||21||57kg|
|6||1×27||CROCKETT||Tony McEvoy||Jamie Kah||10||57kg|
|7||2×3||BONDI||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||20||57kg|
|8||26||SKYRAY||Clarry Conners||Jason Collett||8||57kg|
|9||6×1||MERYL||Lee Curtis||Christian Reith||5||55kg|
|10||212||SECRET LADY||Gary Portelli||Ben Melham||11||55kg|
|11||3×11||SUNLIGHT||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||15||55kg|
|12||1x||NOMOTHAJ||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Stephen Baster||2||55kg|
|13||1||OUTBACK BARBIE||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||6||55kg|
|14||22||ANTHEMOESSA||Matt Cumani||Jordan Childs||4||55kg|
|15||8×33||WITHERSPOON||Brad Widdup||Corey Brown||12||55kg|
|16||1||WHISKEY SHOOTER||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||9||55kg|
|18e||42||TERMINOLOGY||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||–||14||55kg|
|19e||91||SPIRIT’S PRIDE||Michael Nolan||–||1||57kg|
|20e||0154||SUGAR SIZZLE||Angela Plumb||Ryan Plumb||16||55kg|