$41 pop takes out Magic Millions 2YO Classic
VICTORIAN Co-trainer Ciaron Maher struggled to think of a more satisfying victory in his career after Away Game won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Maher, who co-trains with David Eustace, had been predicting all week that Away Game was ready to fire on the big stage, but his claims were ignored by most.
Despite starting at $41, Away Game won like an odds-on favourite beating Stellar Pauline ($17) by 13/4 lengths with a half length to Conceited ($9) in third in the $2 million race over 1200m.
Away Game cost $425,000 and is yet another daughter of super sire Snitzel to win a major race.
Not only did Away Game earn $1.16 million in prize money, she also picked up $325,000 in a women's owner bonus.
Maher said it was a thrill as the filly seemed to be ignored in Millions discussions despite her comprehensive win in the Listed Calaway Gal at her previous start.
"I really believed on her trackwork she was ready to fire in this race," Maher said.
"I am a bit lost for words, which is unusual for me. I feel a bit weird and don't really know how to describe it.
"It is certainly one of the most satisfying moments of my career."
Maher said Away Game might press on to the autumn for the Golden Slipper but a decision wouldn't be made until he had time to assess the win.
"She has already won a Listed race and now she is a Magic Millions winner," he said.
Melbourne jockey Luke Currie notched his second Millions Classic win, after Sunlight in 2018.
"She is different to Sunlight but she has a similar explosive burst when she lets down," Currie said.
"Both times I have won on her she really put them away quickly."
Brenton Avdulla rode Stellar Pauline and said it was a gutsy effort.
"I followed the winner the whole way but she was a bit too good for us," he said.
Damian Lane said he got further back than he wanted but he was proud of the effort of Conceited.
"I had to go a pair further back than I wanted but I was very proud of his effort," he said.
Wisdom of Water did the best of the Queensland horses, finishing fourth. Away Game shortened from $26 into $11 for the Blue Diamond Stakes and $15 for the Golden Slipper.
Aim has drifted from $15 to $26 for the Slipper after he finished only eighth when backed from $5.50 into $4.60 favourite.