BUILD-UP: The road to the Magic Millions has been paved with feature racedays, with the Brisbane Racing Club alone to host 12 Black Type Races before December 19.AUSTRALIA’S richest raceday, 17 Black Type races and 11 individual feature race meetings are the headline acts of a revamped 2015/16 Queensland Summer Racing Carnival which began last Saturday, November 14 at Doomben Racecourse with the Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m).
The road to the Magic Millions has been paved with feature racedays, with the Brisbane Racing Club alone to host 12 Black Type Races between November 14 and December 19.
The Gold Coast Turf Club will host Magic Millions Preview Day on Boxing Day, headlined by three feature races and three ‘wildcard’ races for horses hoping to qualify for Australia’s richest raceday – the $10 Million Jeep Magic Millions Raceday on Saturday, January 9. Doomben will also host a ‘wildcard’ race on Saturday, December 19, with the winner of the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m) gaining automatic qualification for the Magic Millions Trophy/Stayers Cup (1800m).
Jeep Magic Millions Race Day provides $10 million in prize money over nine races, spearheaded by the $2 million 2YO Classic (1200m) and $2 Million 3YO Guineas (1400m) along with five other races worth $1 million each. The Sunshine Coast Turf Club will also host two feature meetings during the Queensland Summer Racing Carnival, with the 2YO Classic Plate on January 16 and the Sunshine Coast Cup on January 26.
Racing Queensland racing operations manager Ross Gove said the feature race days programmed for the coming months would provide the perfect lead-up ahead of the Jeep Magic Millions Raceday.“While the revamp of the Queensland Summer Racing Carnival has been reasonably subtle, there can be no question that the flow of Black Type races programmed will provide excellent pathways for horses to peak for rich ‘grand finals’ in late December and ultimately the Magic Millions Raceday. The carnival’s profile gains impetus at Doomben on December 12 with four Black Type races programmed that will undoubtedly unearth some serious Magic Millions contenders in the 2YO and 3YO ranks,” he said.
“The Boxing Day meeting at the Gold Coast provides a tremendous pipe-opener for the Magic Millions Raceday a fortnight later and also the ‘Wildcard’ races on the Boxing Day card add great intrigue to that race day. This season’s Magic Millions meeting is unprecedented in regards its prize money, but it is also certain to attract a massive amount of profile from within and outside of the Racing Industry.”
Plenty of zip in veteranVETERAN 8YO gelding Steel Zip added another feature win to his impressive record when he came from a near hopeless position to win the listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday, November 14.
The late driving win from Steel Zip denied 68-year-old veteran rider Tony Erhart from being the oldest jockey to win a metropolitan race in Brisbane when he and his mount Top Tone were nosed out on the post.
Winning trainer Pat Duff was delighted with the win of the stable stalwart – a horse who had a great connection with his wife Dinah who died from cancer three years ago. “There was some emotion as it was Dinah’s last horse and I also felt sad for Tony (Erhart). Tony rode Steel Zip work during the week and if I had any disappointment it was beating Tony – we’ve been friends for a lot of years,” Duff said.
Steel Zip was bred and sold by Daandine Stud for $13,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. The Duff stable has prepared the gelding to 11 wins and 17 placings from 67 starts and earnings of more than $780,000.
He is one of three winners produced by the Brisbane 2YO winning Cossack Warrior mare Zip. His sire Canadian Silver was a Group 2 winner in Canada who has produced four stakes winners – the others being Make Mine Magic, Top Marc and Canadian Time.
First winner by MeldROYAL Academy sire Meld was represented by his first winner at the Gold Coast on November 3.
Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association webpage reports that the Mel Eggleston trained gelding Mini Meld accelerated to a five length victory on debut in the Highgrove Bathrooms Plate (900m). Mel’s brother Andrew Eggleston stands Meld in the Gold Coast hinterland at Numinbah Valley. “I bought him off Lloyd Williams for $40,000 at a tried horse sale. I was originally going to export him to Thailand but there delays due to swine flu so I kept him here. There was another opportunity to send him to Thailand later on but I wasn’t going to let him go after seeing his first foals. He really stamps them,” he said.
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