9 January 2016 (Magic Millions racing at the Gold Coast)






Racing at GOLD COAST with the penetrometer reading 4.6, currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface, after we were sitting on a HEAVY earlier in the week.  

RAIL: +0.5M (1000M – 400M), TRUE (REMAINDER). We head to the GOLD COAST for the richest race day of the year for the 2016 Magic Millions. Hoping for an even track, where all runners are getting their chance, pace dependant, however inside barriers do normally tend to favour those drawn inside given the tight turning nature of the track. In saying that, the track was HEAVY not long ago and has been on the improve in recent days, meaning there is always the risk of areas being better than others. As a result, as important as ever to monitor how the track is playing early on to gauge any apparent advantage.


Race 1: We start with a $250,000 maiden over 1200m, if you don’t mind! And as is the story of the day a massive field of 21 assembled prior to scratchings. WOLF CRY most definitely the one to beat, however rock bottom odds @ $2.40+. If keen, suggest you play through multies/multiples instead of major standalone investment in such a big, open, competitive field. Most importantly, similar to Capitalist later on, the inside draw may be sticky and Shinn will need to be at his best to avoid being boxed in as they straighten. Was keen on one here at huge odds ($41+), despite the wide gate in AMERICAN HERO but very disappointed has been scratched. As a result, now leaning towards BOURBON ROAD @ $31+ (BET365) and GIULIANI @ $31+ (BET365). Main dangers the fave as discussed, HAVASAY and WUTAI MOUNTAIN. Very difficult start to a tough day, especially when taking on the hot pot fave.

SUGGEST: BOURBON ROAD (EACH WAY) @ $31+, GIULIANI (EACH WAY) @ $31+, FIRST FOUR (2, 9, 14 / F / 2, 9, 14 / 1, 6), (2, 9, 14 / 2, 9, 14 / F / 1, 6), (F / 2, 9, 14 / 2, 9, 14 / 1, 6), (roving 1, 2, 6 / F) (CONFIDENCE 20%)


Race 2: Magic Millions Country Cup over 1200m and as is the story of the day, big, competitive field assembled. Only a field of 20 this time prior to scratchings. Think WAR JET is a nice bet here on an each way basis @ $5.50+ (BETSTAR, BOOKMAKER.COM.AU, LADBROKES). Should get the right run from a good gate and hoping they elect to sit just being the leaders and charge as they turn. Best value OL’ BROWN EYES @ $35+ (LUXBET) who is racing in career best form and despite a jump in grade, these are hardly a bunch of world beaters. Main dangers THREE SHEETS, MESTALLA and STAR WARS.    

SUGGEST: WAR JET (WIN/EACH WAY) @ $5.50+, OL’ BROWN EYES (EACH WAY) @ $35+, FIRST FOUR (12, 13, 15 / 2 / F / 16), (12, 13, 15 / F / 2 / 16), (12, 13, 15 / 2, 16 / 2, 16 / F), (F / 12, 13, 15 / F / 2, 16), (F / F / 12, 13, 15 / 2, 16) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 3: Open Magic Millions Plate over 1300m and this looks a one horse race in the form of BUFFERING, however not going to be tipping the champ at $1.26+ given he has never won over more than 1200m, hence some chance (albeit a very small one) he doesn’t quite run the trip. Isn’t against much so doubt it will be an issue regardless, however if keen would recommend playing through early quaddie (one out leg) and/or multies.



Race 4: Now time for the fillies and mares over 1300m and as is regularly the case with the females, a very even and competitive affair. Keen to play around three here led by **TRAVESTON GIRL** @ $17+ (BET365) who on an each way basis will nominate as a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Ahead of two others I want to back to WIN in ELOPING @ $15+ (BET365) and SINO EAGLE @ $11+ (BET365, SPORTSBET). Main dangers I AM ZELADY, TINA MELINA and QUEEN OF KARIBA.

SUGGEST: **TRAVESTON GIRL** (EACH WAY) @ $17+, ELOPING (WIN) @ $15+, SINO EAGLE (WIN) @ $11+, FIRST FOUR (10, 13, 16 / 5, 11 / F / 3), (10, 13, 16 / F / 5, 11 / 3), (F / 10, 13, 16 / 5, 11 / 3), (F / 5, 11 / 10, 13, 16 / 3) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 5: Now for the open Magic Millions Trophy over 1800m. Top pick here is WORTHY CAUSE who should get a lovely run from the good gate and beat @ $6.50+ (BET365). Willing to give a personal fave another chance here in **BLACK JAG** @ $26+ (most operators). Will go forward from the wide gate and if he can settle near the fence on the pace, will give them something to chase and most importantly be tough late. Given the odds will make **BLACK JAG** a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main dangers CENTRE PIVOT, TINTO, JUMBO PRINCE and LONGERON.

SUGGEST: WORTHY CAUSE (WIN/EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, **BLACK JAG** (EACH WAY) @ $26+, FIRST FOUR (1, 2, 6, 8 / 4, 7 / F / 4, 7), (1, 2, 6, 8 / F / 4, 7 / 4, 7), (F / 1, 2, 6, 8 / 4, 7 / 4, 7), (F / 4, 7 / 1, 2, 6, 8 / 4, 7) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 6: Now for the open Magic Millions Cup over 1400m, a distance that gives runners plenty of time to find their position, hence bad barriers are not normally as much of a disadvantage, which is key in another big 20 horse field. Very even, pace/tactics/track condition and how it’s playing key. Many chances, deep race, but when push comes to shove have comes out with two on top at double figure prices in FONTELINA @ $15+ (CROWNBET) and STRAWBERRY BOY @ $13+ (LADBROKES, BOOKMAKER.COM.AU, CROWNBET, BETSTAR). Will play the two on WIN only basis’, but also have a secondary play on AUSSIES LOVE SPORT each way @ $31+ with BET365. Main dangers LUCKY HUSSLER, BACHMAN, MURT THE FLIRT, OPEN BOOK and TESTASHADOW. Deep race.

SUGGEST: FONTELINA (WIN) @ $15+, STRAWBERRY BOY (WIN) @ $12+, AUSSIES LOVE SPORT (EACH WAY) @ $31+, FIRST FOUR (1, 5, 13, 14, 16 / 2, 3 / F / 7), (1, 5, 13, 14, 16 / F / 2, 3 / 7), (F / 1, 5, 13, 14, 16 / 2, 3 / 7), (F / 2, 3 / 1, 5, 13, 14, 16 / 7) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 7: Now for the three year old feature the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas and as mentioned above, barriers still important, but not as critical as some of the shorter distances given you have about 400m to find a spot before the first bend. Additionally, there doesn’t look to be a great deal of pace on paper (in saying that, jockeys can sometimes be overawed by the day/situation and go faster than expected), however given the above, think MAHUTA will be terribly hard to beat here, assuming fitness levels are as they will need to be after a break. Will have to trust Darren Weir has that part of the puzzle sorted. Looks a good bet each way @ $4.60+ (WILLIAM HILL, CENTREBET, BET365). Also want to have something on MOST IMPORTANT @ $15+ (LADBROKES, PALMERBET, BOOKMAKER.COM.AU, BETSTAR) on a secondary basis each way, loved the way he hit the line late and can hopefully position himself closer to the pace from barrier 10. Finally, something smaller on REAL GOOD @ $81+ (BET365) who understandably knocked up badly last time after sitting three wide off a hot tempo so happy to forgive and give another small chance here with much less pace on paper. So, we end up liking numbers 1, 2, 3. Main dangers FLAMBOYANT LASS (will be right on the pace), FLIPPANT, EGYPTIAN SYMBOL and SIR BACCHUS.

SUGGEST: MAHUTA (WIN/EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $4.60+, MOST IMPORTANT (E/W - SECONDARY) @ $15+, REAL GOOD (E/W – TERTIARY) @ $81+, FIRST FOUR (7, 9, 13, 16 / 1 / F / 2, 3), (7, 9, 13, 16 / F / 1 / 2, 3), (F / 7, 9, 13, 16 / 1 / 2, 3), (F / 1 / 7, 9, 13, 16 / 2, 3) (roving 1, 2, 3 / F) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 8: And now for the two year old Classic over 1200m with CAPITALIST all the rage after two very dominant victories, drawn gate 2, gun hoop Blake Shinn aboard and backed as if unbeatable into $1.60+. We concede he main brain them, we concede he’s probably the best horse in the race, BUT we have a concern. There are two likely scenarios in terms of where he’ll settle. 1) CAPITALIST sits just behind the leaders as he has at first two starts. The difference is at his first two, he has had the luxury of being ridden like the best horse in the race, sitting three wide, out of trouble with no risk of being boxed in. Today is very different from gate 2. Have no doubt Shinn will try and position himself 1 or 2 off the fence behind the leaders, however if opposition jockeys are smart they will force him to be stuck on the fence, worst case one off and as a result will need to be ridden for luck. If the gap comes, then great, he probably pokes through and gives them a good old fashioned flogging, but in an event like this, it’s not where I want to be when I have my money on a short $1.60+ favourite. The second scenario is 2) He decides to take advantage of gate 2 and lead, eliminating the chance of being boxed in without a run.  Issue here is the speed looks hot, with many set to cross from wide barriers and attempt to lead or be as close as possible to it. I’ll be honest, yesterday I was keener to lay CAPITALIST for this reason, however his chances have been helped this morning on the back of the scratchings of DIETERS, SUNDANCE and PAR ONERI who were all set to do this and help pour on the pressure. Regardless, there still looks to be strong pace, hence the query is can he sustain the pace from start to finish in a $2 million dollar 2YO event when they normally go hard. At $1.60+, I think he is a risk.

The key is he has a gun jockey aboard in Blake Shinn who would have studied and prepared for the likely scenarios all week since the barrier draw and he is as good as any in the business. Not to mention the horse looks a freak and might well be too good regardless. Happy to risk at the price, but no surprise to see him brain them, hope that makes sense. So, who do we back? Not easy, but am taking the punt on a few at massive odds. All set to be ridden off the pace, but not too far back, are also set to be caught wide which normally is not what you want, however just have a feeling if they go hard enough up front, 3 or 4 wide with cover may not be the worst place and will allow them the luxury of clear running out wider. They’ll need luck from the gates and will be somewhat dictated to be other riders and where they settle, but given the prices happy to take the punt. Those in question are *FARAWAY TOWN* @ $67+ (SPORTSBET), *RARE OCCURRENCE* @ $61+ (most operators), ahead of CLARO EL BANCO @ $126+ also with most operators. Given the odds will make the first two our BEST LONGSHOT bets of the day. Each have done enough in their short careers to suggest they can run a big race and am hoping they surprisingly end up in decent spots. As mentioned above, was more confident last night when there was more pace in the race, but hopefully still enough to work in our favour. Time will tell. Main dangers the obvious in the fave CAPITALIST and stablemate NICCOLANCE.

SUGGEST: *FARAWAY TOWN* (EACH WAY) @ $67+, *RARE OCCURRENCE* (EACH WAY) @ $61+, CLARO EL BANCO (EACH WAY) @ $126+, FIRST FOUR (roving 1, 2, 6 / F), (roving 1, 6, 12 / F), (roving 1, 6, 16 / F), (F / 1, 6 / F / 2, 12, 16), (F / F / 1, 6 / 2, 12, 16) (CONFIDENCE 20%) 


Race 9: And we finish a massive day on the Gold Coast with the Magic Millions Sprint over 1100m. The 7th race of the day in which the prizemoney has been $1,000,000 or more. Incredible, good luck if you own even a nose hair of anything running around. Decent pace up front again here, hence think HUSSON EAGLE can get the right run and as long as he can avoid traffic in the straight might be able to run over the top of them at $5.50+ with BET365. Won’t know himself with 54kg! Best value then ROCKY KING @ $31+ (BET365) with good weight relief here after a much improved run last time behind Diamond Oasis. Main dangers WEINHOLT (wanted to make a strong case, especially at $15+ but will need a lot of luck from gate 13), DIDNTCOSTALOT and WILD RAIN. The harder they go up front, the better for our standalone suggestions.

SUGGEST: HUSSON EAGLE (WIN/EACH WAY) @ $5.50+, ROCKY KING (EACH WAY) @ $31+, FIRST FOUR (2, 5, 7 / 9 / F / 3, 7), (2, 5, 7 / F / 9 / 3, 7), (F / 2, 5, 7 / 9 / 3, 7), (F / 9 / 2, 5, 7 / 3, 7), (F / 2, 5, 7 / 2, 5, 7 / 3, 7, 9) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 



Average odds a massive $31.36+ per suggested runner!