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Melbourne youngsters warm up for Magic Millions

By Glenn Davis

The training partnership of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace will have another roll of the dice to ensure Rathlin and Away Game qualify for next month’s Magic Millions Classic when the pair run in the Phelan Ready and Calaway Gal Stakes at Doomben on Wednesday.

Rathlin is a dominant favourite for the 1110-metre Phelan Ready Stakes and is currently a $15 chance for the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 11.

Rathlin is 12th in order of entry for the Magic Millions Classic while Away Game is currently well down the list in 43rd position and is a $51 outsider behind $5 favourite Farnan in the Magic Millions Classic.

Both were due to run in the Phelan Ready and Calaway Gal Stakes at Doomben last Friday but the meeting was washed out following a torrential downpour after only three races were held.

Maher and Eustace ran second with Dubious in last year’s Magic Millions Classic behind the James Cummings-trained Exhilarates and could have up to five Magic Millions Classic runners this summer.

“As well as Rathlin and Away Game we’ve got Amish Boy (20th in order of entry), Marchena (26th) and Anders (41st) headed to the Magic Millions but Unstoppable won’t be going,” Eustace said.

Eustace believes the penny still hasn’t dropped with Rathlin.

The son of Fastnet Rock was a $725,000 buy at the Magic Millions sales and has $49,000 in prizemoney after finishing second in last month’s Magic Millions Clockwise (1000m) at Ballarat.

He wore blinkers for the first time at Ballarat after finished seventh on debut in the Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 7.

“Rathlin laid in last start but the blinkers certainly helped him and he only just got beaten,” Eustace said.

“He probably only needs to place in the Phelan Ready to qualify but we’d like him to win to boost his confidence.”

Away Game, a $425,000 buy, is also one of the leading hopes in the Calaway Gal Stakes following her last start fourth on debut in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes at Sandown on November 16.

“Away Game ran on well last start and was unlucky not to place,” Eustace said.

“She bumped the rail which didn’t help and if she wins the Calaway Gal she’ll qualify for the Magic Millions.”

Racing Queensland webnews    December 17