The 2016 Magic Millions Classic field has been released and dominant favourite Capitalist is set to take on a capacity field of rivals in the $2 million event at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Capitalist showed that he was a colt to watch when he recorded an impressive barrier trial victory over 838 metres at Royal Randwick on September 21 and he stamped himself as favourite for all the major two-year-old events with a comfortable win in the Listed Breeders Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on October 3.
He was sent straight to the spelling paddock following his debut victory, but he showed he was ready for a return to racing when he produced another smart barrier trial performance before he strolled to victory in the Magic Millions Classic (1100m) at Wyong on December 17.
Capitalist was set to cap off his Magic Millions Classic preparations with a barrier trial on December 29, but he was withdrawn due to a slight rise in temperature, which co-trainer Peter Snowden does not expect to affect his performance on Saturday.
Team Snowden have a very strong hand in the Magic Millions Classic field and Capitalist is joined in the acceptances by stablemates Niccolance and Mooshakissa.
Niccolance is yet to record a maiden race win, but finished second behind both Astern and Capitalist, while Mooshakissa broke his maiden at Warwick Farm on December 9 before he finished second at Rosehill Gardens on December 19.
Another trainer that has a very strong hand in the 2016 Magic Millions Classic field is Tony Gollan, who has both Just Orm and Zelady’s Night Out in the race.
There was plenty of hype surrounding Just Orm in the lead-up to his racing debut in the Hamilton Hotel Handicap (1110m) at Doomben on December 19, but he could finish no better than third before he scored a maiden race win in the Yalumba Handicap (1000m) at the Sunshine Coast on January 2.
Zelady’s Night Out has done nothing but win during her racing career and she will defend her unbeaten record in the Magic Millions Classic after winning the Flexi Membership Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on November 14, the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1050m) at Doomben on December 12 and the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Boxing Day.
Dieters is another horse that will defend an unbeaten record in the Magic Millions Classic following his wins in the Coca Cola Amatil Plate (1050m) at Doomben on October 3 and the Hamilton Hotel Handicap (1100m) on December 19, while Candika and Rare Occurrence are also yet to taste defeat.
No trainer has a better record in the Magic Millions Classic than Gai Waterhouse and she will be represented in the 2016 edition of the race by Slumber Party.
Slumber Party made her racing debut with a third place finish in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 and she finished a gallant second behind Zelady’s Night Out in the BJ McLachlan Stakes.
The 2016 Magic Millions Classic field is rounded out by Claro El Banco, Sundance, Nikitas, Punishing, Highland Beat, Faraway Town and Conchita, while Rainy Day Woman, Zafina, Party Pardee, Par Oneri and Heart Skipt A Beat are the five emergencies.