By Jordan Gerrans
Owner Michelle Walker already has a QTIS Jewel trophy in her possession and now she has turned her attention to a Magic Millions 2YO Classic early in 2022.
The Rockhampton-based owner has had a charmed run when it comes to her gallopers over the last 18 months; her stable star Sweet Dolly is unbeaten in four career starts and Heroic Angel signalled her intentions of making her mark as well on debut at Townsville.
Heroic Angel is a close relation of Sweet Dolly through Sweet Cherub.
Both trained by astute Central Queensland trainer Kevin Hansen, the two Walker-owned fillies started their careers at Townsville’s Cluden Park and justified their short quotes by winning well.
Heroic Angel began her racing career by claiming a NQ feature race, the annual $32,500 Pallarenda Stakes, as she won the girls division, and now Walker and Hansen have set their sights on the riches of the Magic Millions carnival on the Gold Coast earlier this year.
Unbeaten filly Sweet Dolly was crowned 2YO QTIS Jewel champion earlier this year but was not seen at the Magic Millions, with Walker explaining she had learnt from that experience.
“When I bought Sweet Dolly as a weanling, I had no idea you could nominate horses that far out for those kind of things like the Magic Millions,” Walker said with a laugh.
“No one ever told me, maybe they just assumed that we would know that you have to be in for a race like the Magic Millions, instead of just nominating as you would for a normal race.”
Sweet Dolly and Heroic Angel are different in almost every which way.
Sweet Dolly, who is regarded as one of the state’s premier juveniles, had early gate speed, was a fast learner and a cheap purchase – just $1,500 from the 2019 Gold Coast National Weanling Sale.
Heroic Angel likes to get back in her first trials and races, she is still learning about the caper and went under the hammer for $70,000 at sales time.
Despite the clear differences, Walker, who hails from the Aramac area of Queensland, always had high hopes for the new two-year-old.
“We are happy with what Heroic Angel has done without being all that, but she is QTIS so we have paid up for the Magic Millions,” Walker said.
“I said to Kevin that we may as well just have a crack at it and he agreed.
“She will be a better 1200 metre horse this one, maybe up to 1400 metres.”
Popular hoop Justin Stanley, who only recently returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines with an injury, has parented the two fillies in each of their five victories and was pleased with what the debutant showed on Saturday.