By Glenn Davis
Magic Millions Classic winner Coolangatta will be given the chance to become the first filly to win the Magic Millions-Golden Slipper double following her brilliant win in the $2 million feature at the Gold Cost on Saturday.
Only three Magic Millions Classic winners – Capitalist (2016), Phelan Ready (2009) and Dance Hero (2004) – have gone on to claim the world’s richest two-year-old race in Sydney after winning the 1200-metre Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
All three were males, while Coolangatta proved she was the standout filly of the year holding off a late challenge by the Team Snowden-trained Russian Conquest with Snitcat, third.
Coolangatta’s win gave champion Sydney jockey James McDonald his first Magic Millions 2YO Classic win, surpassing his previous best result when Sweet Idea finished second in 2013.
“It’s a big relief with such a short-priced favourite,” Maher said.
“When J-Mac went early it made me a little nervous.
“She’ll have a break now and head towards the Golden Slipper.”
McDonald proved he was far and away the best jockey in Australia with a superb ride on the $1.95 favourite.
Maher said Coolangatta was selected from the paddock before going through the Magic Millions sales for $280,00 and was syndicated among a group of owners including Joe O’Neill, Ozzie Kheir and Brae Sokolski.
McDonald said it was a privilege to ride Coolangatta in a high-pressure race like the Magic Millions, after the pair first teamed up to win the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick in October before winning the Group 3 BJ McLachlan at Doomben on Boxing Day.
“It doesn’t always work but we were lucky today that it did,” he said.