By Andrew Adermann
It was a golden weekend for a number of Magic Millions graduates, with two Gold Coast Yearling Sale products scoring significant wins both home and abroad.
Farnan, who went under the hammer at the 2019 sale, scored a sensational win in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper at Rosehill on Saturday, touted as the world’s best two-year-old race.
Astoundingly, the first six runners over the line in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds were all knocked down at the same Yearling Sale last year.
The next day, 2017 graduate Golden Sixty confirmed his superstar status by taking out the $20 million BMW Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin.
Farnan the king of the two-year olds
Farnan’s win on Saturday cemented his position as the nation’s best youngster, with what can only be described as a dominant Golden Slipper win.
With Hugh Bowman aboard, Farnan pounced straight to the early lead, crossing the field from a wide barrier and leading by a length approaching the final bend.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained colt was pushed for the majority of the straight by 2020 Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Away Game, but found another gear in the last 100 metres to take home the Slipper.
Farnan improved his record to five wins from six starts, with his only defeat at the hands of Slipper second-place getter Away Game in the aforementioned 2YO Classic earlier this year.
The win was a seventh Slipper for Waterhouse, but the first one shared with her training partner Adrian Bott, who she has been in work with since 2016.
“Gai has got such an amazing record in the race to share one with her is a very humbling experience,” Bott said.
“Thanks to everyone at home for getting the colt here today and also to Aquis Farm and Phoenix Thoroughbreds for their support as well.”
It was also a first Slipper win for Bowman, one of the very few big scalps that the hoop of Winx fame hadn’t claimed.
“I’m lost for words to be honest, I’d just like to congratulate Gai and Adrian and their team,” Bowman said.
“I’ve been lucky to ride some very good horses during my career as you would know – but I’ve never ridden a better two-year-old.”
Farnan was bred by Vinery Stud, and purchased for $550,000 by Aquis Farm and Phoenix Thoroughbreds in partnership at the 2019 sale.
The first six runner over the line - Farnan, Away Game, Mamaragam, Tagaloa, Hungry Heart and Prague – were all knocked down at the same sale.
Furthermore, four runners – Farnan, Away Game, King’s Legacy and Rathlin – competed in both the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January and the Golden Slipper on the weekend.
Golden Sixty dominates Sha Tin
Queensland bred and sold Golden Sixty didn’t have it all his own way, but showed his undoubted class by bringing home the $20 million Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin last night.
The four-year-old claimed the 2000 metre contest in dramatic fashion after Australian hoop Blake Shinn took the 150-1 shot, Playa Del Puente, to an unexpected yet commanding lead into the final straight.
Golden Sixty jockey Vincent Wo had to swoop the field, coming from third last around the outside to make an almost-too-late charge at the leader, nailing Shinn’s mount with a final bob of the head.
The win, a 10th from 11 starts, made Golden Sixty just the second horse to sweep the Four-Year-Old Series in Hong Kong – comprised of the Hong Kong Classic Mile, Hong Kong Classic Cup and Hong Kong Derby.
The only other horse to complete the sweep was another Australian bred champion in Rapper Dragon, who achieved the feat in 2017 with Joao Moreira aboard.
“I think I can sleep well tonight, all the pressure on my shoulders has just gone,” Ho said.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win all the four-year-old classics and he’s a superstar for sure; I think today, especially, it was very difficult to come from behind and sprint like that,” Ho added.
Golden Sixty was bred by the Hutchins family in Queensland and sold through their Element Hill Stud for $120,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.