The third race on Saturday’s Gold Coast Magic Millions Race Day is set to be a cracker with the acceptance of Robert Heathcote’s six time Group 1 champion Buffering into the Magic Millions QTIS Open Plate 2016 field.
Due to jump at 12:50pm, this year’s $1 million Magic Millions QTIS Open Plate (1300m) attracted a final field of 14 led by evergreen eight-year-old Buffering.
Last seen posting his sixth elite level win in Perth’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in November, the Mossman gelding has his first run at the Gold Coast in Saturday’s restricted feature.
He is a Group 1 champion at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley track however, which bodes well for his Gold Coast run on a similarly tight course.
Buffering lumps the 61kg top weight in the MM QTIS Plate and also suffered a blow drawing wide with barrier 11 of 14, but is the class horse in the line-up and regular rider Damian Browne retains the ride.
The next heaviest weighted under the set weights plus penalties conditions of the middle-distance sprint is the Pat Duff-trained Steel Zip with 59kg.
Drawn in gate eight with Jeff Lloyd retaining the ride, the fellow eight-year-old is out to atone for his last when 10th behind Fontelina in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on December 12.
Before that the Canadian Silver grey was in flying form winning three on the trot in Brisbane including the Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m), form the Deagon-based Duff hopes he can return to on Saturday.
Along with Buffering, the other last start winner in the mix is the John Dann-trained Anymore (58kg) drawn a treat in barrier four with a jockey still to be confirmed.
The All Bar One five-year-old is up notably in class and weights this weekend however after winning a Class 6 at Ipswich on December 30 with just 51.5kg on his back.
The rails run in this summer’s Magic Millions QTIS Open Plate belongs to the Tony Gollan-trained Gundy Spirit who Sydney hoop James McDonald will ride from barrier one.
It has been a while between drinks for the Jet Spur gelding who hasn’t won a race since April last year, but his late spring form was good.
He was runner-up in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) before a fourth in the Lough Neagh, but things went amiss in the Listed Goldmarket Handicap (1300m) at the Gold Coast on Boxing Day when 12th to Bachman.
Gollan is also represented in the race by Mr Jetset who is drawn the opposite end of the field in gate 12 for jockey Jim Byrne to overcome, the fellow son of Jet Spur boasting a good Gold Coast track record of a win and two seconds from three previous starts.
Also drawn wide for the clash is another Jet Spur gelding, the local Toby Edmonds-trained Siegfried who comes off a second at the track over 1400m on December 26, in gate 13 on Saturday.
See below for the full Magic Millions QTIS Open Plate 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights with odds to be released shortly at the country’s premier online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au.
2016 Magic Millions QTIS Open Plate Final Field & Barrier Draw
Gold Coast Race 3 (12:50pm) – 09/01/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x1746x1541||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||11||61kg||116|
|2||2235121110||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||Jeff Lloyd||8||59kg||101|
|4||1340×74240||GUNDY SPIRIT||Tony Gollan||James McDonald||1||57kg||90|
|5||4x1x09x089||ABU BEN ADAM||Pat Duff||Michael Cahill||9||57kg||77|
|6||4251×74602||SIEGFRIED||Toby Edmonds||Brenton Avdulla||13||57kg||78|
|7||44x55x1x80||CHOOSE A SAGA||Steele Ryan||Glen Colless||6||57kg||70|
|8||x21214x716||MISTER BOOZE||David Murphy||TBA||2||57kg||78|
|9||0x26412410||RISING LUCK||Trevor Thomas||TBA||5||57kg||73|
|10||2×34581630||MR JETSET||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||12||57kg||71|
|11||021615×235||SPUR LE JOUER||Stuart Kendrick||TBA||7||57kg||73|
|13||195×213105||DUCHESS MOLLY||Matthew Dunn||Tye Angland||3||55kg||64|
|14||310x29x9||SAGA OF THE STORM||Liam Birchley||TBA||14||54kg||64|