Toowoomba three-year-old and Magic Millions Guineas hopeful Aquatorial with apprentice Jason Letherby at trainer Ron Macrae’s stables this week.
Toowoomba three-year-old and Magic Millions Guineas hopeful Aquatorial with apprentice Jason Letherby at trainer Ron Macrae’s stables this week. NEV MADSEN

Gelding's chance in a Million

EACH year hundreds of yearlings go through the Magic Millions sale ring on the Gold Coast.

Their added appeal to buyers is the bonus prize money they are eligible to race for as Magic Millions graduates.

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Some of those youngsters go on to make racetrack headlines and gallop off with the lion's share of that pot of gold.

Many build more moderate careers but nevertheless provide their connections with a satisfying share of racing thrills.

Others are never heard of or seen again after leaving the Magic Millions complex with their new owners.

Tomorrow 154 of those sale purchases line up at the Gold Coast on a day set aside exclusively for Magic Millions horses, searching for possibly their biggest pay day.

The meeting is highlighted by the $2 million Two-Year-Old Classic (1200m) and $1 million Three-Year-Old Guineas (1400m).

Toowoomba-trained horses have had success in both events.

Regimental Gal won the 2003 Classic for trainer Shaun Dwyer while Ron Maund's celebrated sprinter Gold Edition captured the Guineas in 2007.

Darling Downs representation this year is light on with its only two-year-old representative Grand Business now an early race scratching after being listed as a fourth emergency.

Toowoomba has two Guineas entries with Double Impact ($101) lining up for trainer Jackie Crompton and $51 chance Aquatorial who shapes as the stronger hope for an upset win.

Trainer Ron Macrae has had his share of feature victories during a lengthy training career but his Magic Millions opportunities have been limited.

Tomorrow his hopes will ride with Aquatorial, a $50,000 sale purchase who has returned four wins and more than $100,000 in prize money for Macrae and his fellow part-owners of the horse.

Macrae believes Aquatorial's chances are better than his early price suggests

"He hasn't had a lot of luck this preparation. He's been running good races without winning," Macrae said yesterday after his gelding drew an outside barrier for tomorrow's assignment.

"I'm not overly concerned about him drawing wide.

"He likes having galloping room and I think stepping to 1400 metres will suit him ideally.

"I think he'll get a mile eventually but we have kept him to shorter trips with this race in mind.

"If things can fall into place for him and he can get a "cart" into the race, I think he's a realistic chance.

"Brad Stewart (jockey) said he wouldn't swap him for any other ride in the race so I hope his judgement turns out to be correct."



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