IT was a case of third time lucky for Central Queensland graziers Alan and Jennifer Acton at Magic Millions when their 4YO mare Outback Barbie who, after third placings in the 2YO Classic in 2018 and 3YO Guineas in 2019, won the $1 million Racing Queensland Magic Millions QTIS Quality (1300m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
In steady rain for the final race of the day, the first-crop daughter of Spirit Of Boom from the stakes-winning General Nediym mare Pure Purrfection thundered down the outside of the track to overhaul River Racer and Ef Troop - also by Spirit Of Boom - in a photo finish.
A $210,000 purchase out of the Eureka Stud draft at the 2017 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Outback Barbie has now won four races and more than $1.3 million in prize money during her 19-start career for Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan with $940,000 coming from her three Magic Millions starts. "This is for great supporters of the stable - Alan and Jennifer Acton. They 'stump' up every year and buy me a nice horse and they've got themselves a bonny little mare in Outback Barbie," Gollan said.
Long time racing stalwarts based at Wilpeena near Dingo in Central Queensland, the Actons have been regular Magic Millions attendees and buyers since the concept started in 1986.
This year they paid $750,000 for a filly by I Am Invincible from the winning Sepoy mare Lusitania - a half-sister to four times Group 1 winner Alinghi.
Outback Barbie was the second leg of a back-to-back million dollars double for trainer Tony Gollan after the win by Vega One in the 1400m Magic Millions Cup. Both races - the QTIS Quality and Cup - carried $1 million prize money.
By Lope De Vega (Ire) from the Distorted Humour (USA) mare One Funny Honey (USA), Vega One improved his record to five wins from 17 starts - and almost $1 million in prize money - with a dominant performance under popular jockey Michael Rodd. The win broke a 17-year Magic Millions drought for Michael Rodd who won the 2YO Classic on Regimental Gal in 2003.
Gollan believes Vega One - a $75,000 purchase at the 2017 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale - could develop into a Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap contender later in the year. In fact, Vega One is guaranteed a start in the Stradbroke having won the inaugural The Gateway (1400m) for 4YOs at Eagle Farm on December 14 which carries a ballot-free exemption into the Stradbroke.
MM history as Invincibella goes back to back to back
STAR Queensland-bred mare Invincibella created history at the Gold Coast on Saturday when she won a third consecutive edition of the $1,000,000 Magic Millions Fillies and Mares (1300m).
In doing so, the Chris Waller trained mare - a $180,000 purchase by Star Thoroughbreds out of the Sledmere Stud draft at the 2015 Gold Coast Yearling Sale - became the first horse to win the same Magic Millions race three times.
The three-quarters-of-a-length margin over Irithea and Romani Girl was the most decisive of the 6YO's three Magic Millions wins and saw her overall record improve to 12 wins from 43 career starts, with more than $3 million in the bank for connections.
Waller, who made it a double for the day after Madam Rouge's earlier victory in the Magic Millions Snippets, said Invincibella was a pleasure to train. "After a few years, and we've seen it with a few other good horses in our stable; you keep things simple and they keep turning up and performing their best and it's very special to be a part of horses like that.
"We like our young horses - the two-year-olds - but the four, five and six-year-olds are still very much a part of our team and if you look after them, they look after you," he said
Jockey Hugh Bowman, who was also aboard Invincibella at the Gold Coast in 2019, said the mare had quickly become one of his favourite horses to ride. The champion jockey said that, despite Invincibella having won multiple Stakes races including last year's Group 1 Tatts Tiara (1400m), he had little doubt the 1300m of the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares is her best distance.
Invincibella is Queensland-bred
THE Australian Stud Book lists Brisbane pharmacists Andrew and Nielma Grant-Taylor as the breeders of Invincibella and her Melbourne stakes-winning half-brother Secret Blaze.
Both are from the unraced Galileo mare Abscond - a mare they bred from the winning Zabeel mare Luminata bought for $250,000 at the 2002 New Zealand Premier yearling sale. The reason for the high price was that her dam Taciturn was a triple Listed winner in New Zealand and the dam of eight winners including two stakes winners - Group 1 Adelaide Cup winner The Hind and Geelong Cup winner Oregon Star. A winner of two races up to 2000m, Luminata has since produced five winners including Light Up Manhattan -third in the VRC Derby.
By champion sire I Am Invincible,Invincibella was Abscond's first foal and sold for $185,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale to Denise Martin's Star Thoroughbreds while her third foal Secret Blaze (Sizzling's first black type winner) sold for $90,000 at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale to McEvoy/Mitchell Racing. On both occasions the Grant-Taylors kept a racing share. Secret Blaze has now won six races which includes recent wins since November 2 last year at Flemington, Moonee Valley and Morphettville plus running second in the Listed Pakenham Cup.
A half-brother by dual Group 1 winning sprinter Extreme Choice is catalogued for the upcoming Inglis Sydney Easter yearling sale while their youngest sibling is a colt by Queensland sire sensation Spirit Of Boom foaled in September last year.
Alligator Blood all class in MM 3YO Guineas
QUEENSLAND'S pin-up 3YO Alligator Blood - bred by Magic Millions co-owner Gerry Harvey - defied a series of pre-race distractions and potential setbacks to dominate Saturday's $2 million Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m).
The race was pushed back by stewards after the truck carrying the son of All Too Hard was held up due to a major accident on the motorway between trainer David Vandyke's Sunshine Coast stables and the Gold Coast. The race was further delayed at the start due to a late scratching but once the gates opened, Alligator Blood produced a top-class performance, sprinting away in the straight for a two-length win over Eleven Eleven (G3 Fastnet Rock/Smokin' Alice (USA) and last year's 2YO Classic winner Exhilarates (F3 Snitzel/Samaready).
Winner of eight of his nine career starts and second in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas, Alligator Blood has won more than $2.1 million - a handsome return on his $55,000 purchase price paid by the Ezybonds No 1 Syndicate managed by Allan Endresz when offered out of the Harvey's Baramul Stud draft at the 2018 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Alligator Blood is by Black Caviar's Group 1 winning half-brother All Too Hard from the unraced Encosta De Lago mare Lake Superior. She is a half-sister to Listed winner Cantonese while their dam Kylikwong is a stakes-placed sister to Australian Horse of the Year 2009-10 Typhoon Tracy and Listed winner Red Element - all progeny of Australian-bred and South Africa Group 1 winner Tracy's Element (Last Tycoon).
The lion's share of the $250,000 Magic Millions Racing Women's Bonus, which was offered on the Guineas for the first time in 2020, was collected by connections of Dubious, who finished 10th.
Away Game has massive payday in MM Classic
JOCKEY Luke Currie won his second Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) in three years when the Melbourne-based filly Away Game stunned her rivals in Saturday's $2 million contest at the Gold Coast.
It was the fourth Classic win in succession for fillies after earlier success by Exhilarates (2019), Sunlight (2018) and Houtzen (2017).
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace's daughter of Snitzel let down with a dazzling turn of foot inside the final 300m to quickly put a gap on her rivals and held a two-length margin over Stellar Pauline and Conceited on the line. The win was made even sweeter for the filly's all-female group of owners who took home an additional $325,000 as part of the Magic Millions Racing Women's Bonus.
Currie, who won the 2YO Classic aboard superstar Sunlight in 2018, said the filly had improved since her win in the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1100m) at Eagle Farm last month. That made her the second black-type winner for her dam - the stakes-placed and winning Elusive Quality (USA) mare Elusive Wonder. The earlier winner was her full-sister Modern Wonder who won a Listed race in Adelaide while another sister Grasslands has won two races. All up, Elusive Wonder has had five progeny to race for five winners.
Away Game was bought out of the South Australia-based Mill Park Stud draft for $425,000 by Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock at last year's Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale, while her yearling three-quarter sister by Not a Single Doubt was bought by Aquis Farm at this year's sale for $580,000.