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Alf's Magic continues fightback from Ross River Fever

By Glenn Davis

Talented Northern Rivers sprinter Alf’s Magic continued his amazing comeback from a bout of Ross River Fever to claim a rare city win for Grafton trainer Dwayne Schmidt at Doomben on Saturday.

Alf’s Magic, ridden by Jim Byrne, led all the way to down Pentito by three-quarters-of-a-length in the male’s division of the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap.

It completed a hat-trick of wins for the son of Rubick and his third victory from only five starts.

“I bought him for $55,000 at the Magic Millions but he was a little bit weak in the hocks so we just gave him time,” Schmidt said.

“He probably should be unbeaten.

“He possibly should have won his first start at Ipswich but he drew the outside gate and just couldn’t clear them.

“He then went for a spell and came back and only ran an average race at the Grafton carnival but we found out later he had Ross River Fever.”

Schmidt said Alf’s Magic took plenty of time to recover after receiving treatment for the setback.

“It was just a virus and on the lower scale but he just got very lethargic and was worn out,” he said.

“He’s getting better each time he goes to the races.”

Meanwhile plans to send Amity’s Gal to Sydney for next month’s Group 2 Light Fingers at Randwick were shelved following the filly’s third placing at Doomben on Saturday.

Amity Gal was pushed up to lead from her wide gate in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Fillies Handicap before compounding to finish third to the Tony Gollan-trained stablemates Self Indulgent and Frosty Mango.

Amity Gal, who won her only previous start at the Sunshine Coast, started the popular pick at $2.35 with punters but after dashing clear half way down the straight, she showed little fight to go down by nearly three lengths.

“She’ll be staying here and won’t be going to Sydney for the time being,” Vandyke said.

“Her run was only fair and I would have liked to see her stick on a bit more.

“But if was only her second run and she’s still learning.”

Amity Gal is a full sister to last year’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks winner Duais who went on to claim the Group 3 Coogny Handicap at Caulfield prior to her Caulfield Cup start last spring.

She also is a half-sister to Vandyke’s former top galloper Baccarat Baby who won eight races including the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas in 2019 and five-time winner Amiche, now with Edward Cummings in Sydney.