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Coolangatta chasing Golden Slipper history

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.

Team Snowden didn’t have to wait long for their time in the sun via the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas, when King Of Sparta produced a strong turn of foot to hold off the Toby and Trent Edmonds-trained Me Me Lagarde.

“He has been his own worst enemy at times,” said Paul Snowden said.

“I was filling Nash up with plenty of instructions but thankfully there was a good tempo and he got into a lovely position and he was way too good in the end.

“This horse has always lacked maturity and that hurt him when he met a better class of horse.

“But hopefully he is that better class of horse himself now.”

Earlier, Sydney five-year-old Eleven Eleven showed he loves a Queensland holiday with a thrilling defence of his Magic Millions Cup.

The Greg Hickman-trained gelding poked his nose out on the line to claim the feature in a thrilling four-way finish.

The son of Fastnet Rock joined Invincibella who won three straight Magic Millions Fillies & Mares races from 2018-2020 as the only horse to win on Magic Millions day in three consecutive years.