Over in the West tomorrow at Ascot R7 sees the running of the 15th version of that States’ 2yo Magic Millions over a distance of 1100m. It definitely won’t take centre stage in the minds of most Australian Punters on the day, but it looks an intriguing race all the same, with some impressive last start winners almost certainly holding the balance of power.
Historically I find it quite amazing that the last 6 winners of this race have been Fillies. In fact 8 of the last 9 have been, and of the total 14 run so far, 11 have saluted. 8 of the last 9 had won their last start, and again 8/9 started from between barriers 1- 9.
Last years’ winner was the first in (at least) 9 years to come from further back than midfield to win, with the vast majority of winners (since 2001) being in the first 3 runners throughout. 6 of the last 9 winners had their last start within 18 days of winning this, and the average winning price in that period has been $7.20. Worth nothing though that 4 of those 9 have started $4 or under though.
Starting with the Fillies, given their tremendous record, here is my summation of the main chances;
#9 CHANTSKI gave nothing else a chance on debut, dominating in the lead from an outside barrier. She had no real pressure from any other runners, though it is fair to say she did the required early work in the race to earn that respite. She goes from 1000m to 1100m here, and given she maintained her winning margin in the straight last start, I don’t see that as a major obstacle. The extreme outside barrier may well be though, given the amount of other speed there appears to be from other horses drawn her inside. She might have to take a sit this time behind 1 or 2 others, and hopefully pounce in the straight. No doubt she has a bit of quality about her, and 2013 winner Camporella managed to win from barrier 14. So there is hope she can maintain the filly dominance of this race.
#10 PUTERI JEWEL won on debut at 1100m beating London Lolly by a far narrower margin than Chantski did on debut. She too did all the hard work early from a wide barrier, though she wasn’t the best to begin. Her time was a bit below average but the form out of the race has been really good. She too has to overcome a wide barrier though, and will have to endure pressure, but given the record of last start winning Fillies for this race, her price is massive overs.
#11 LIGHT UP THE SKY- Was well beaten by Puteri Jewel on debut but has proven that form all wrong since, winning one and runner up behind Senso at her latest start. She was second best there though and it’s ’hard to see her turning the tables on a horse she had previously beaten. She does look an honest type though and the inside barrier will afford her every opportunity from just behind what should be a frantic pace. Definite place hope.
#14 INCOMING TIDE looks a little outclassed off a midweek placing behind Sonesta, but she beat that horse easily on debut, when she was back last and had to make a wide run in the straight. That was an eye-catching effort in a decent time (comparatively) to older horses on the same day. She was a bit ‘green’ and the run last start and the most interesting thing is Blinkers go on here which probably means she lost a bit of concentration last start, She is trained by Dan Morton who will make it 3 consecutive wins in this race (with Fillies) if she were to score. William Pike retains the ride and she should get an economical run behind the speed from an awkward barrier. She is a major player at a double figure price especially on an Each Way basis.
#2 SENSO looked to have the race in his keeping 2 starts ago but running about badly in the straight. That cost him the race after setting up a winning margin between himself and Light Up The Sky (see above). The Blinkers went on and he gave nothing else a chance leading from a wide alley last start. He showed abundant speed there and he looks to be the most robust of these 2yos. I would be surprised if he doesn’t lead again here from a good barrier and he looks to be the one they are all going to have to catch. His mother Danza Doll was a decent 2 year old around Golden Slipper time in Sydney running a close 4th in the Sweet Embrace (a major lead up race). He looks to be the one coming good at the right time.
#5 LUCKY STREET is going to get the right run in the race behind the speed after disposing of his rivals with disdain in a similar scenario back in October. The form out of the race hasn’t been so great though and he hasn’t run for some time. Blinkers go on but are they really necessary given the ease of that last win. 2 barrier trial wins probably say they are working and he heads the betting market. Who am I to argue but I’ll watch him go around without me at the price, given the history of the race.
#6 SHADY GREY is one I thought worthy of a mention because he is an impressive strong looking type that has performed pretty well at his only 2 runs. I don’t think he was best suited trying to find the inside (cutaway) rail in the straight last time and a less prettier ride this time might pay better dividends. He is another that should appreciate a fast tempo and he looks to have the physical strength to finish the race off powerfully. Big odds for at least a place chance.
Pretty tough to find a winner but I’ll go with the fillies again and select INCOMING TIDE, one at value to come off the pace and win. SENSO clearly the one to beat to my eye, and CHANTSKI has a lot of historical data to support her claims.
1. INCOMING TIDE
4. LUCKY STREET