The 2014 Magic Millions Classic field has been released; with sixteen classy two-year-olds, as well as five emergencies, set to take part in the $2 million event at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Carrying the number one saddlecloth in the Magic Millions Classic will be Bjorn Baker-trained Unencumbered, who has recorded four wins in five starts and will start the race as favourite if he draws a good gate at the barrier draw tomorrow.
Unencumbered made his racing debut with a victory in the Sharp Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on October 12 before suffering the only loss of his career thus far in the Men Of League Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on October 26.
The Testa Rossa colt recorded an upset win in the Wyong Magic Millions Classic (1100m) on December 19 before scoring another surprise victory in the Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on December 28.
Unencumbered will face a similar field in the Magic Millions Classic this weekend; with Stroak, Oakleigh Girl, Pinch River, Totally Sure, Echo Gal and Sagatona (first emergency) all set to back up from the Group 3 event.
Echo Gal went into the B.J. McLachlan Stakes as one of the favourites, after winning impressively on debut, but was one of the first horses beaten and finished a disappointing eighth – more than 16 lengths behind Unencumbered.
The Stratum filly was found to be suffering from Thumps after the race and she looked like she would miss the Magic Millions Classic but, according to Gai Waterhouse stable foreman Mark Newnham, has recovered well and was cleared to take her place in the field after galloping in front of Racing Queensland stewards on Saturday.
One of the best backed runners in 2014 Magic Millions classic betting markets in the past week has been Team Hawkes-trained Invisible who made his debut with a strong win over Jetwings and Nordic Empire in the TAB IPad App Plate (1200m) at Canterbury on December 28.
Nordic Empire was a short-priced favourite to record his second race win, after winning the Flemington Equine Clinic Plate (1000m) in impressive fashion on debut, but Invisible was too strong in the final stages of the race.
Nordic Empire will be joined in the 2014 Magic Millions Classic field by stablemate Geromayo who has performed well without winning in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m), Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) and Wyong Magic Millions Classic.
Mornington based I Am The General, the undefeated Celestial Dragon, Robert Heathcote-trained Pinch River, Echo Gal’s stablemate Cyclone and beaten Wyong Magic Millions favourite Sheer Style were also included in the Magic Millions Classic final field.
The 2014 Magic Millions Classic barrier draw will be held at the Gold Coast tomorrow morning and is sure to dramatically affect the betting market for the event.