After 23 two-year-olds were nominated for the 2011 Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic, just 10 hopefuls have been accepted into the final field for the lucrative feature running this Thursday.
A key preparatory run for juveniles heading towards the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast on January 14, the $200,000 Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic (1100m) is set to run as Wyong Race 4 at 3:10pm (NSW time).
Of the 10-horse field just four contenders have previous race experience, one of the best fancied of which is the Tony McEvoy-trained Little Critter.
As expected the Gerald Ryan-trained Amorino and Chris Waller’s Fundido were non-acceptors for Thursday, leaving Court Command colt Little Critter to wear the No. 1 saddlecoth.
Drawn to perfection in gate two with Glyn Schofield engaged for the ride, Little Critter has raced twice before at Morphettville in October, the youngster having won their second start over 1000 metres.
It isn’t their race starts that have caused the most attention, however, but their Warwick Farm barrier trial on December 15.
With Schofield in the saddle Little Critter cruised to an easily four length win over the 800 metres, impressing connections and earning them a shot at the Wyong MM Classic on Thursday.
Little Critter is rated a $26 chance in the Luxbet futures markets for the Gold Coast MM Classic next month, but they are not the shortest-priced of Thursday’s hopefuls for the Queensland clash.
A full $10 under Little Critter in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic 2012 markets paying $16 is the Paul Perry-trained Hidden Warrior.
The Hidden Dragon gelding debuted back on October 1 when finishing just a short-neck away second to Gai Waterhouse’s Pierro in the Listed Thoroughbred Breeders Plate (1000m).
Due to jump from barrier nine on Thursday, Hidden Warrior with again be ridden by Christian Reith.
The other two gallopers with a race start up there sleeve have drawn at opposite ends of the field with the Clarry Conners-trained Dar Demi to have the inside run from gate one with Corey Brown in the mount, and Liam Birchley’s Jet Spur filly Shamrock Slipper on the extreme outside in barrier 10.
Other top fancies include Haradasun colt Hoffenhorry who won a Rosehill 900m trial by an emphatic nine lengths back on December 6, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fastnet Rock colt Burning Sails who was another Rosehill trial winner a fortnight ago and John O’Shea’s General Nediym filly Hoss Amor.
Hoffenhorry, nicely drawn in gate four, has been confirmed to be ridden by three-time Magic Millions Classic winning hoop Chris Munce on Thursday as they put their Gold Coast Magic Millions credentials on the line.
“Chris is tremendous on two-year-olds and he rides Wyong very well,” Hoffenhorry’s trainer Gregory McFarlane said.
“Chris will be able to give us a good line on Hoffenhorry heading towards the Magic Millions.
“This race looks made for Hoffenhorry.
“He’s a big, strong, natural two-year-old and he has trained on extremely well since the trial.”
Munce – whose Magic Millions wins came aboard Sunblazer (1989), Excellerator (2001) and Dance Hero (2004) – is intrigued with Hoffenhorry and looks forward to getting a better gauge of ability on Thursday.
“It will be interesting to see how this horse goes,” Munce said.
“He obviously trialled very well and there are good reports about him.”
See below for the full 2011 Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic field, barriers and jockeys.
Our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet is due to open markets on the race shortly.
In the meantime, get on your favourites at their generous early prices for the Gold Coast Magic Millions Classic at Luxbet before odds firm.
Just this last season gone Karuta Queen scored the Wyong – Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic double, and chances are that the bookies will be wary of a similar result this time round.
2011 Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic Field & Barriers
Wyong Race 4 – 22/12/2011
|1||21||LITTLE CRITTER||Tony McEvoy||Glyn Schofield||2||56.5kg|
|2||2X||HIDDEN WARRIOR||Paul Perry||Christian Reith||9||56.5kg|
|3||–||BURNING SAILS||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||8||56.5kg|
|4||–||HERE COMES THE SUN||Gregory Mcfarlane||–||7||56.5kg|
|5||–||HOFFENHORRY||Gregory Mcfarlane||Chris Munce||4||56.5kg|
|6||–||MARDONIUS||Gerald Ryan||Josh Adams (a)||5||56.5kg|
|7||4X||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Corey Brown||1||54.5kg|
|8||2||SHAMROCK SLIPPER||Liam Birchley||–||10||54.5kg|
|9||–||HOSS AMOR||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||6||54.5kg|
|10||–||LADY IN CHARGE||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||3||54.5kg|