This Thursday an intriguing field of either lightly-raced or unraced two-year-olds will face off in the 2011 Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic, with only two of the gallopers engaged having firmed in the markets since betting began including the Clarry Conners-trained Dear Demi.
There are nine youngsters left in contention for the $200,000 Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic (1100m) following the early withdrawal of #8 Shamrock Slipper.
Luxbet markets are led by Breeder’s Plate runner-up on debut Hidden Warrior at $3.80, and while they and the other single-figure chances including Tony McEvoy’s Little Critter ($4) and Chris Munce mount Hoffenhorry ($5) have remained steady in their prices, two hopefuls have had some early love from the punters.
The most noteworthy of the duo is the John Singleton-owned filly Dear Demi who has firmed in from $7 to $6.50 at Luxbet over the past day.
Drawn ideally on the rails and due to be ridden by Corey Brown, the well-bred daughter of Dehere from Zabeel mare Shirley runs for the first time under race conditions since their fourth on debut when beaten four lengths by Hussousa in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Randwick back on October 1.
“She drew out a bit (barrier eight of 12) and got a long way back which wasn’t the plan,” Conners said of the Gimcrack Stakes run from Dear Demi.
“But she finished the race off terrific.
“We were going to run her again but we couldn’t find a suitable rider so we put her out.”
Proving their fitness, Dear Demi won a Warwick Farm trial over 800 metres on December 15, Brown aboard for the successful hitout, and is now being aimed at the $2 million Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast next month.
Currently an $81 roughie in the Gold Coast Magic Millions Classic futures odds at Luxbet, Dear Demi will firm dramatically should they go out and win at Wyong on Thursday.
Even grander plans from the always enthusiastic Singleton are to target the iconic Golden Slipper with Dear Demi, the 2012 edition of the world’s richest juveniles’ race to run at Rosehill on Easter Saturday, April 7.
“When he gave me the horse he said, ‘I want her to win the Magic Millions. If you win the Slipper too that’s OK but win the Magic Millions,’” Conners said when explaining the instructions he was given from Singleton.
Conners and Singleton combined to take out the Magic Millions Classic with another daughter of Dehere back in 2006, Mirror Mirror winning the Gold Coast Classic from barrier 15 of 16 with Danny Beasley in the saddle.
They came close again when Belle Du Jour finished second over a decade ago.
She made up for it, however, winning the 2000 Golden Slipper.
“We’ve had the two get there and they’ve done well,” Conners said.
While confident in Dear Demi’s ability, Conners predicts her pedigree will see her really shine once stepped out over more distance next season.
“She’s more precocious (than Mirror Mirror and Belle Du Jour),” he said.
“She’s a bigger, stronger filly than both of those fillies.
“Sometimes you think that might be great but she might be a (better) three-year-old.
“She might be better next prep.”
The other Wyong Magic Millions Classic market firmer is Lady In Charge, the $34 roughie of the field having come in from their opening quote of $61 at Luxbet.
Anthony Cummings’ unraced General Nediym filly has drawn well in gate three with Peter Robl to ride.
Meanwhile, connections of Thursday’s Wyong Magic Millions favourite Little Critter also have the 2012 Golden Slipper on the agenda should everything go to plan.
The Court Command colt has raced twice before, both times in Morphettville, winning their second start back on October 29.
They caught the eye more recently, however, impressing jockey Glyn Schofield with a stunning four length trial win at Warwick Farm over 800 metres on December 15.
How they will go on a big race day against some promising rivals is the question, one trainer Tony McEvoy is keen to have answered.
“It is a difficult race to assess,” the South Australian-based horseman said.
“There are five or six of them which are unraced.
“All I know is my colt is very well and I think he is quite a nice colt who should handle himself well.
“If Little Critter handles himself well over the next few weeks he can stay in Sydney for the Slipper after the (Gold Coast) Magic Millions.”
To get in on the Wyong Magic Millions markets, and access the futures all-in betting for the Gold Coast Magic Millions Race Day on January 14, head to Luxbet and sign up with Australia’s No. 1 online bookmaker.