Tony Gollan’s flying middle distance sprinter Fontelina is one of the headline nominations taken for the Magic Millions Cup 2016 at the Gold Coast Racecourse on Australia’s richest race day this Saturday in Queensland.
With over $10 million in prize money on offer, the Gold Coast Magic Millions Race Day is a supercharged Queensland Summer Racing Carnival feature and one of the day’s major support races is the Restricted Listed $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m).
The quality handicap attracted 38 early entries this season including Gollan’s Testa Rossa seven-year-old Fontelina coming off a win in the Listed Lough Neagh Handicap (1350m) at Doomben from December 12.
The veteran is yet to race at the Gold Coast, but is in flying form and looking to continue his good summer campaign.
Brisbane’s premier trainer Gollan has also nominated for Gundy Spirit who was outclassed at the track on Boxing Day when crossing nearly five lengths away 12th behind Bachman in the Listed Goldmarket Handicap (1300m).
The Gerald Ryan-trained Goldmarket Handicap winner from Sydney Bachman is also in the mix for the Magic Millions Cup on the weekend, the four-year-old All American gelding shooting for his third win on the trot.
Two back the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) runner-up from last winter won over 1200m at Randwick.
He then bought that form to the Sunshine State once again with the narrow long neck win in the Goldmarket carrying 54kg, thriving with the light weight after carrying 61kg to victory first-up back home.
Ryan has also entered Choisir four-year-old Larebil and smart six-year-old mare Peace Force who has a good 1400m record (9-4-3-1) and who was last seen running a quarter length away third in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in late November.
Goldmarket runner-up Le Val was brave in defeat, the Snitzel gelding prepared locally by Noel Doyle and out to turn the tables on his last start conqueror in Saturday’s Magic Millions Cup rematch.
The five-year-old has had three previous Gold Coast runs for two wins and the Goldmarket second, but hasn’t won at the track since November of 2014.
A Sydney raider won last summer’s Magic Millions Cup with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Spurtonic taking out the middle distance sprint, the Flying Spur gelding back to defend his title in 2016.
Spurtonic hasn’t finished top three since the MM Cup last January however and is now prepared in Queensland by Bryan Guy.
Also inside the Magic Million Cup trifecta last year was the Chris Waller-trained runner-up Strawberry Boy, another galloper who returns in 2016 off some disappointing form.
He was last seen running eighth in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) at Randwick on Boxing Day, but did finish under a length away fourth to Stratum Star in last September’s Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) so has enough class on his day for a big run on Magic Millions Day.
Brisbane’s Robert Heathcote has two livewire hopes in the mix with returning eight-year-old Riva De Lago and six-year-old Saluter.
Commands gelding Saluter ran second to Fontelina in the Lough Neagh two back before a brave fourth in the Goldmarket on December 26 he’ll be out to improve on.
Other notable Magic Millions Cup hopes this season include Pat Duff’s Keith Noud winner Steel Zip looking to atone for his failed Lough Neagh run, last October’s Sale Cup runner-up Harada Bay and Illustrious Lad last seen running fourth to Flippant in the Wyong Magic Millions 3YO & 4YO Stakes on December 17.
See below for the full Magic Millions Cup 2016 nominations, final acceptances closing on Wednesday at 9am (AEST).
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2016 Magic Millions Cup Nominations
Gold Coast Racecourse – 09/01/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||4x1x09x089||ABU BEN ADAM||G||5||Pat Duff||77|
|2||9x29151x20||AUSSIES LOVE SPORT||G||5||Peter Robl||95|
|5||68x32401x8||BOLD CIRCLE||G||4||David Payne||78|
|6||0x565x890x||BULL POINT||H||5||David Vandyke||97|
|7||1x10222x48||ELLE LOU||M||4||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||76|
|8||36×8042310||EYE THE WORLD||G||6||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||69|
|10||35528×5337||GRACIOUS PROSPECT||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||94|
|11||1340×74240||GUNDY SPIRIT||G||5||Tony Gollan||90|
|12||9×73433225||HARADA BAY||G||6||John, Dan & Chris Meagher||89|
|13||x114441x34||ILLUSTRIOUS LAD||G||4||Peter Gelagotis||83|
|14||11427217×5||KALANDULA||M||5||Bruce W Hill||83|
|17||13x1145x43||LE CORDON BLEU||G||5||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||78|
|18||2x1152x862||LE VAL||G||5||Noel Doyle||90|
|20||167x46136x||LUCKY HUSSLER||G||6||Darren Weir||113|
|22||1525×33954||MISS COVER GIRL||M||4||Kelly Schweida||91|
|23||x21214x716||MISTER BOOZE||G||4||David Murphy||78|
|24||5x12293x13||MURT THE FLIRT||G||4||Brendan McCarthy||84|
|25||058354×041||OPEN BOOK||G||5||Joseph Pride||77|
|26||112x21x293||PEACE FORCE||M||6||Gerald Ryan||100|
|27||70x4100x28||REAL SURREAL||M||5||Kelso Wood||95|
|29||00×2641241||RISING LUCK||G||4||Trevor Thomas||74.5|
|30||x14328x14x||RIVA DE LAGO||G||8||Robert Heathcote||103|
|33||321514x7x0||SNIPPETS LAND||G||5||Peter & Paul Snowden||89.5|
|34||1021615×23||SPUR LE JOUER||H||4||Stuart Kendrick||73|
|36||2235121110||STEEL ZIP||G||8||Pat Duff||101|
|37||611x4480x8||STRAWBERRY BOY||G||7||Chris Waller||104|