There was a sense of Deja Vu about Eleven Eleven’s win in Saturday’s $1 million Magic Millions Cup.
After winning the 3YO Guineas in 2020 and the same race last year, Gregory Hickman’s gelding made it a hat-trick thanks to a stunning ride from Hugh Bowman.
The son of Fastnet Rock went around as a $7.50 chance in the Ladbrokes market after a disappointing second-up run at Randwick last month, but as so often is the case, Eleven Eleven proved to be a horse for the course winning a photo finish out wide.
With the capacity field stretched across the track, Bowman urged him over the line to beat home the fast-finishing Holyfield, who snuck along the rail after settling much closer to the speed.
Bowman said after the race that he an absolute treat to ride and credited his outstanding record on the Gold Coast.
“Horses that run well here at the Gold Coast, they inevitably do it all the time,” Bowman told Sky Racing.
“When you go back, it’s not so long ago Invincibella won three mares races in a row. Some horses just seem to click with this track and Eleven Eleven is one of those special horses that does it.”
The five-year-old took out The Warra fresh at Kembla Grange two runs back, and then finished well down the straight in the Razor Sharp at Randwick from the wide gate.
Hickman, Eleven Eleven’s trainer, said afterward that he had no explanation for his horses’ up and down form.
“All I could tell you is I thought he and Travest could win, but they both came out and failed, and then they both came out and won next start. I don’t know, I have no explanation,” Hickman said.
Holyfield held on to finish second, while Apache Chase overcame the wide gate to run third.
There was no such luck for last start Buffering winner Kementari, however.
The Godolphin galloper got away slowly from the barriers and failed to make up much ground after settling second last.
The complete 2022 Magic Millions Cup finishing order can be viewed here.