The outside gates continued to prove prosperous at the Gold Coast on Saturday after the Gary Portelli-trained Straturbo won the $200,000 Magic Millions Open Sprint (1100m) from barrier ten of twelve.
The Liam Birchley-trained Missy Longstocking found plenty of support in the betting following the late scratching of early favourite Whittington and jumped well from barrier nine with Kelso Wood’s Seeking More taking the lead.
The power of speed was on early in the race and Missy Longstocking failed to break through the pack just before the 200 metre mark due to congestion. She made her way up the inside while both Straturbo and Happy Galaxy chose to make their way up to Seeking More from the outside.
The outside run proved successful with the pair taking out the quinella while Missy Longstocking held on for third. Seeking More missed out on a placing in fourth after over racing.
The Open Sprint made it two wins and a second for hoop James McDonald so far at the Magic Millions Race Day. He did well to make his way out of the traffic jam of horses at the straight which was Missy Longstocking’s downfall after the mare found herself caught in it.
“I was a little bit wide early but they sorted themselves out and there was a line of four that I sat behind,” McDonald said of his ride.
“It was a good effort.”
“Straturbo looked very well placed leading into the race and the field was even.”
This was Straturbo’s fifth run on a different track after racing in Sydney and Melbourne his past five times out but the travel seems to have done her well, putting her in a fresh state of mind each time.
Trainer Gary Portelli admitted he was happy that his plan worked in his favour.
“I love it when a plan comes together that’s for sure,” he said.
“We’d targeted this race a long time ago and thought this may be one he’d be competitive in.
“But to bring him up and see him run so well is a real thrill. We only paid $40,000 for him and he’s been a great little horse.
“He’ll probably just come home, we’ll work out where to go from there but this was his grand final.”
Straturbo has placed in 13 of his 25 career starts with prizemoney totaling $166,000 that will now see an injection of a further $126,000.
Portelli is excited to test out his seven horses bought during this year’s Magic Millions sales in a hope to return for next year’s Race Day given the boost in prizemoney.