Leading Magic Millions Contenders To Clash In B.J. McLachlan Stakes

By: Thomas Hackett
December 26th, 2013

Unencumbered, Echo Gal and Oakleigh Girl will all clash in the Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday; with the race set to be the key preview for the 2014 Magic Millions Classicat the Gold Coast on January 11.

Oakleigh Girl will face Unencumbered and Echo Gal in the B.J. McLachlan Stakes at Doomben this weekend.

Oakleigh Girl will face Unencumbered and Echo Gal in the B.J. McLachlan Stakes at Doomben this weekend. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Echo Gal is the current favourite in 2013 Magic Millions Classic betting markets and will be having just the second start of her racing career in the Group 3 event this weekend.

The Stratum filly made her debut with a dominant four lengths victory over I Am Snippety and Uratta Belle in the TAB Rewards Plate (1000m) at Warwick Farm on December 11 and according to Gai Waterhouse stable foreman Mark Newnham has taken plenty of benefit from the run.

Tommy Berry will ride Echo Gal in the Magic Millions Classic but the two-year-old will be partnered by veteran Queensland jockey Chris Munce in the B.J. McLachlan Stakes as Berry continues to serve a suspension he received during the Hong Kong International Raceday at Hong Kong.

Oakleigh Girl and Echo Gal have battled for Magic Millions Classic favoritism in the past week after Oakleigh Girl recorded her second win from two starts in the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1010m) at Doomben on December 14.

The Snitzel filly stamped herself as a leading Magic Millions contender with a strong win in the Group 3 7News Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on November 5 but was not overly impressive at Doomben last Saturday and drifted slightly in betting.

The 2014 Magic Millions odds of Unencumbered shortened drastically after his victory in the Wyong Magic Millions Classic (1100m) last Thursday and the Testa Rossa colt is set to have his third race start this month in the B.J. McLachlan Stakes.

Unencumbered started his racing career with a win in the Sharp Plate (1000m) at Randwick on October 12, despite missing the start, and finished third in the Men Of League Plate (1100m) before returning to the winners stall with a victory in the Ascend Sale Trophies Plate (1000m) at the Randwick Kensington track on December 7.

The Bjorn Baker-trained juvenile is now on the third line of Magic Millions classic betting at odds of $6.50 ahead of Mick Price-trained Nordic Empire who will contest the TAB IPad App Plate at Canterbury on Saturday rather than the B.J. McLachlan Stakes.

Other juveniles taking winning records into the B.J. McLachlan Stakes include Bassillique, Prince River and Stroak, while Liam Birchley is chasing his second straight win in the race with Sagatona after taking out the Group 3 event with Missy Longstocking last year.

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