|Since the race's
introduction in 1987, the Magic Millions 2YO Classic has quickly established itself as one
of the highlights on the Australian Racing Calendar.
Snippets galloped into the history books by winning the inaugural running of the race in
1987, the 1200 metre race's proud history has developed into one of the country's best
pointers for the future.
The strength of the 2YO Classic hit an incredible high last
year with the first four placegetters proving to be among the country's best.
Gai Waterhouse was gunning for her second consecutive
Millions and she saddled up a strong hand and her unbeaten colt Excellerator started
favourite and duly got the chocolates by a long neck. It was a Waterhouse quinella as Miss
Bussell would rattle home for a fast finishing second, while Gosford youngster Magic
Albert would pip Ha Ha for third place - denying Gai a trifecta in the rich event.
Excellerator, who was already a stakes winner before the Gold
Coast, would go on and win the Silver Slipper Stakes before placings in the Up and Coming
Stakes, Peter Pan Stakes and Gloaming Stakes - all Group Two events.
His stablemate Miss Bussell, who had got within a neck at the
finish, has only had three starts since the Millions and has placed on two occasions. She
was placed in the Group One Champagne Stakes. A career in Dubai was mooted but she will
remain in the Waterhouse stable.
Third placed Magic Albert has stamped himself as one of the
leading fancies in this year's three-year-old classic with a strong first up win over the
likes of Ha Ha last Saturday in Sydney. It was no real surprise as this Zeditave galloper
is establishing himself as a star of the turf. Since his third placing on the Gold Coast
he has thrashed subsequent Group One winners Viscount and Viking Ruler in Group company as
well as pushing Lonhro in the Group Two Stan Fox Stakes.
Gai's first winner came in the 2000 running when her
exceptionally talented youngster Assertive Lad romped home to beat subsequent Golden
Slipper winner Belle du Jour.
Since his triumph in Queensland Assertive Lad has measure up
to and beaten the best in the country. His talent must be firmly entrenched into people's
memory with his devastating last start win in the Group One Doncaster Handicap in Sydney.
Prior to that he was a multiple Group One winner in both the Champagne Stakes and AJC
Sires' Produce Stakes. Let's not forget he came close to winning the Golden Slipper,
Skyline Stakes, Canterbury Stakes as well.
Belle du Jour need little introduction. Part owned by John
Singleton and former PM Bob Hawke, the filly scored one of the most dramatic wins in
recent racing history with her unlikely Slipper win at Rosehill. More recently the
daughter of Dehere upset the international star Falvelon at his last run before he headed
to Hong Kong and beat the world's best sprinters.
There's little doubting the abilities of the 1999 Classic
winner Testa Rossa. The son of Perugino, recently retired to stud in Victoria, was one of
the country's most popular racehorses in recent years and he was won the Emirates Stakes,
Futurity Stakes, Lightning Stakes, VRC Sires' Produce Stakes and two runnings of the Eat
Well Live Well Cup - all Group One classics. An earner of $3 million, Testa Rossa was an
extremely verstatile galloper who always raced well in racing's elite company.
Looking further back through the race's history makes
interesting reading. Among the past winners have been champion sprinter and young stallion
General Nediym, ill-fated sires Brave Warrior and St Covet as well as topliners like Gold
Ace, Kinjite, Bold Promise, Tristanagh, St Jude, Quick Score, Clan O'Sullivan and of
course the inaugural winner Snippets.
So for anyone looking to the future and deciding which
youngsters this season are bound to go on to bigger and brighter things, then look no
further than the Gold Coast track on January 12!