Gold Coast Race 8 | The Magic Millions 2YO Classic | 1200m 2YO Open SW | 4.55pm AEDT

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail out +1m from the 1000m – 400m and then true for the remainder of the course.

With fine weather forecast through Friday and Saturday (29-30c) we are likely to be racing on a Good 3 surface.

Expect the track to race evenly without a significant pattern. Race pace and talent will be far more influential.

Speed and Tactics 

There’s plenty of speed draw out wide here. Assuming the five emergencies come out, we will have Secret Lady (10), Sunlight (12) and Ef Troop (13) all likely to press forward with Witherspoon (11) another one that could be ridden positively in the early stages and then look to take a sit as those out wider press on.

It’s impossible to imagine anything but a solid to fast early pace, which will ensure the race is won in fast overall time.

There’s a natural tendency to think that advantages off pace and back runners and it does give them an ideal scenario to make up ground. However, if they don’t have the ability to run the necessary time needed to win under a fast pace scenario, then that advantage counts for nothing.

A perfect demonstration of this is the fact that while the Magic Millions is typically run at a good early pace or faster, it has been dominated by talented leaders.

Since the year 2000, 8 of the 18 winners actually led in the race. They have provided 44.4% of the winners from just 6.5% of the runners in that time.

Early Pace Rating: Solid to Fast

Late Pace Rating:Moderate to very slow

Best Suited: Those with the talent to run fast overall time.

WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Taking a balanced view of history and the lead up form to this race, the winner will require a rating of at least 90 at the weights. If Sunlight or Ef Troop run right up to their form then this will end up a strong rating edition of the Magic Millions, in the 92-94 range.

A number of these runners are yet to get even close to the expected minimum rating of 90. Some allowance can be made for improvement potential, but as is the case in every year of this race, there are many runners that are simply outclassed.

Race Assessment

2. Ef Troop: Forecast 91 - 95. Assessed $3.20

His win at Doomben on 16/12 was the best rating 2YO performance of the season so far and at the weights it brings him into this with a 94.9 figure and an edge on other contenders. He smashed the clock that day running fast time with quality late sectionals, which is a universally proven indicator of serious talent. He may not be able to repeat that rating here in a bigger field from a wide draw with more pressure, but even if he regresses a length or two he’s still a top chance in this race and very hard to beat.I’m not concerned about the wide barrier. Of course, it presents a risk of getting trapped wide, but the key is that the market offers more than fair compensation in its price for the chance of that happening. Backing wide drawn on-pace runners at the Gold Coast 1200m is very profitable and when you have one with the lead-up credentials for Ef Troop, then it’s reason to bet with confidence about the value you are getting, rather than shying away because he “might” get caught wide.

11. Sunlight: Forecast 91 - 94. Assessed $3.50

She’s a very smart filly on an upward spiral into this race with the figures to challenge Ef Troop.She ran an 88 rating at the weights when she won over 900m two starts ago and then improved to a 91.6 rating last Saturday when she bolted in here over 1100m. She’s another that has established her credentials on the clock and can definitely run the fast time needed to win this race.Coming to this race on a 7 day back up off such a good win gives her some prospect to improve again and run to a new peak.Similar to Ef Troop, the barrier should not put you off… the value percentages are well and truly in her favour from a profitable betting perspective.

1. Jonker: Forecast 86 - 90. Assessed $9.00

He’s currently a $4.80 chance in the market, but I have to oppose him strongly here. He’s won two from two by big margins, but there just hasn’t been any substance in those races, especially compared to Ef Troop and Sunlight. The Wyong MM race looked strong on paper, but the three other talented horses in the race all failed to run anywhere near expectations. It’s rare we see that happen, but when it does, there’s reason to view the race with suspicion. When I look at that race in detail, Jonker’s speed measures (both overall time and sectionals) were moderate and not in the same class as Ef Troop and Sunlight. The subsequent form out of the race also offers nothing extra to suggest he should be rated any higher than I have him now.He’s a good horse with a degree of talent, but well behind the top two chances in this race. Even if I make the assumption that he’ll improve to a decent new peak in this race, I still can’t get him any shorter than $9.00. That’s my bare minimum price.He looks massively under the odds and If he wins, I’ll happily cop it on the chin without any regret. History is well and truly on the side of opposing these types of horses.

12. Nomothaj: Forecast 86 - 90. Assessed $15.00

She has a win over Sunlight back in October to her credit, but that filly has improved many lengths since then. Nomothaj brings an 86 rating from that debut win to this race and if she’s progressed in the last 3 months then she has good prospects to run to a new peak here. That unknown about her has to be respected among the 2nd tier chances in this race.

7. Bondi: Forecast 80 - 90. Assessed $31.00

His 90.6 rating from his 2nd to Performer in a strong Breeders Plate back in September had him set up as a serious contender for this race. However, his first up run in the Wyong MM was very poor by those standards. His recent trial suggests he may have improved a little and he has at least shown the talent to be very competitive, but that last start run and a very wide draw here make it impossible to be confident.

4. Legislation: 82 - 87.5. Assessed $34.00

His 87.4 rating from a debut win in October was a good springboard to improve this preparation and set himself up as a chance in this race. However he went backwards at his first up run on 30/12, rating around 3.3L inferior. The fact he’s from the Snowden stable means you can’t rule him out, but it’s an enormous task to make so much improvement to a big new peak from one run to the next.

9. Meryl: Forecast 83 - 86. Assessed $34.00

She ran to an 83 rating first up at Doomben and is likely to reach a new peak here, but even making allowance for that, she still looks a genuine longshot.

10. Secret Lady: Forecast 82.5 - 85. Assessed $51.00

She’s been consistent in 3 runs so far, but looks exposed with a peak around the 84.5 mark, which is well below the standard needed here.

14. Anthemoessa: Forecast 83 - 86. Assessed $51.00

Ran to an 84 rating at Caulfield last start after racing wide. She’s likely to reach a new peak here, but it would be a surprise if she could improve enough to get anywhere in the finish.

3. Quackerjack: Forecast 82.5 - 85. Assessed $61.00

His last start 82.5 rating when well suited by a strong pace up front is well below the standard needed here. A new peak is likely here, but the jump needed to get into this race as a winning contender looks too great.

13. Outback Barbie: Forecast 82 - 85. Assessed $61.00

She won on debut at Doomben, but her 82 rating and significantly inferior speed measures to Ef Troop on the same day suggest she will struggle here.

6. Crockett: Forecast 81 - 84. Assessed $81.00

He was beaten 5.3L by Ef Tropp two runs ago and then ran poorly last start. His SP profile carries some weight, but nowhere near enough to suggest he’s anything but a significant longshot.

15. Witherspoon: Forecast 80 - 83. Assessed $101.00

She’s had every chance in her last two and hasn’t come close to the standard needed here.

16. Whiskey Shooter: Forecast 80 - 85. Assessed $151.00

Won on debut last start, but his rating was nowhere near this level.

18. Terminology (em): Forecast 78 - 84. Assessed $151.00

Showed talent in the trials, but has been beaten 5.1L by Jonker and 4.5L by Sunlight in two runs so far.

21. Catastrophic (em): Forecast 78.5 - 85. Assessed $151.00

Was only 1.6L behind Ef Troop back in November, but that horse has improved 5-6 lengths since then. It’s highly unlikely Catastrophic has done the same.

Betting Strategy

Both Ef Troop and Sunlight bring dominant speed and rating credentials to this race and historically that has been an extremely profitable profile in feature 2YO races. The extra value angle offered by their wide barriers creates a scenario where both can be backed for a profit.

 I’m happy to back Ef Troop for the best result with a smaller profit if Sunlight wins.

 BACK – Ef Troop WIN at >$3.20 – Stake 1.6% of your total bank.

 BACK – Sunlight WIN at >$3.50 – Stake 1.4% of your total bank.

Related Articles

Race Assessment: Australian Guineas

"The scenario looks perfect here for Cliffs Edge to run to a new peak off that 99.6 last start ...

Read More

Race Assessment: Australia Stakes

"From the inside barrier, Brave Smash needs to hold his spot in the pair behind the leaders & if ...

Read More

Race Assessment: AJ Scahill Stakes

"This looks a decent betting race with two of the top-rated horses on recent form also likely to be ...

Read More