Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Tony McEvoy’s brilliant filly Sunlight won as she was tipped to do with a terrific Magic Night Stakes victory at Rosehill Gardens to cement her favouritism in Golden Slipper 2018 betting for Saturday week.
There was big money being held on the flying daughter of Zoustar who made it five wins on the trot saluting for the punters as the odds-on fancy in the Group 3 $175,000 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) on Coolmore Classic Day.
After her two length Magic Millions 2YO Classic win at the Gold Coast in January, Sunlight made her Sydney debut on February 24 at Rosehill with a narrower victory in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m).
She franked that form today in the Magic Night Stakes results, a race McEvoy has always had on the autumn agenda for her, on way to a shot at the lucrative Group 1 $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) back at the track just seven days later.
“I factored this race into her preparation,” McEvoy said on Saturday.
Her regular rider Luke Currie was back aboard his golden girl today after Tim Clark rode her to victory in the Silver Slipper Stakes and he had her right up on the pace for the all-the-way victory.
Sunlight pinged the gates and went straight into the lead with Setsuna moving up into second, keeping the hot favourite honest.
Around the turn for home Sunlight raced into a clear lead and was too good for the progressive James Cummings-trained runner-up Cristobal who finished one and a half lengths back after a nice late run up the inside.
Rounding out the Magic Night Stakes trifecta in third after a good run throughout third the rails was the Gerald Ryan-trained Sweet Ava.
Sunlight raced fresh in the Magic Night Stakes and despite overdoing it a little early, was still far too good for her rivals late holding off some nice types that chased her home off good runs.
“She was good today,” Currie said post-win.
“She went really quick early and was even that little bit keen. Hopefully that run takes the edge off her for next week.
“I think onwards to next week.
“She seems to thrive with the racing. Tony’s got the key to her really and worked her out pretty quick.
“Good this run today just to tidy her right up for next week.”
Sunlight is now tipped to be the first Golden Slipper Stakes winner out of the Magic Night Stakes since Calaway Gal (2nd in 2002).
The form has held-up in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds more recently however including last year when Tulip won the Magic Night Stakes before her third to She Will Reign in the Golden Slipper.
“I thought she levelled late, but that’s okay, that’s the gallop she needed,” McEvoy said of the final Slipper lead-up from Sunlight.
“She had good timing today. She pinged the gate, controlled the race, got softened up a bit the mid stages but if there’s one thing we’ve learnt about this filly, she’s tough.
“You throw it at me and she’ll handle it.
“She’s a beauty and we’ve just got to hold her together now for the next seven days.
“It’s very, very exciting for us.
“I think she can just cruise [this week] and have fun and be fit and fresh for next week.”
2018 Magic Night Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 3 – 17/03/2018
|1||1||SUNLIGHT||Tony McEvoy||Luke Currie||–||8||55.5kg||$1.35F|
|2||10||CRISTOBAL||James Cummings||Tye Angland||1.3L||1||55.5kg||$14|
|3||8||SWEET AVA||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||1.8L||5||55.5kg||$13|
|4||3||SECRET LADY||Gary Portelli||Tim Clark||3.7L||2||55.5kg||$31|
|5||11||KARA’S HOPE||Tim Martin||Adam Hyeronimus||3.8L||11||55.5kg||$91|
|6||7||LILITH||Allan Denham||Joshua Parr||3.9L||3||55.5kg||$31|
|7||4||PERFECT PITCH||Gary Portelli||Glyn Schofield||4L||7||55.5kg||$81|
|8||5||FUTOOH||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Kerrin McEvoy||4.2L||12||55.5kg||$41|
|9||6||INTO THE ABYSS||John P Thompson||Christian Reith||5.2L||9||55.5kg||$21|
|10||13||LAILA DE VEGA||John P Thompson||Michael Dee||8.5L||4||55.5kg||$101|
|11||2||SETSUNA||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Stephen Baster||11.4L||10||55.5kg||$21|
|12||9||TERMINOLOGY||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Corey Brown||13.9L||6||55.5kg||$31|
|SB||12||ESTELLA MARIS||John P Thompson||Blake Shinn||–||0||55.5kg||–|
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