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Coolangatta sends a strong warning ahead of Magic Millions 2YO Classic

Mon 27 December 2021

By Glenn Davis

Boom filly Coolangatta justified her place as a short-priced favourite for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic with a breathtaking win in the Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes at Doomben on Sunday.

Coolangatta’s price was immediately slashed, and is now a $1.80 favourite for the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast on January 15.

Coolangatta was surprisingly taken on for the lead in the early stages of the 1200-metre, before careering away for a dominant two-length win over Thelwell.

The win maintained her unblemished record after the daughter of Written Tycoon won the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick at her only other start in October.

The win justified champion Sydney jockey James McDonald’s decision to bypass International Day in Hong Kong after representing New Zealand in the International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley on December 8.

Trainer Ciaron Maher was thrilled with Coolangatta’s win and warned her Magic Millions rivals that she would take great benefit from the hit-out.

“I thought she would be a little fresh at the 1200 for the first time but I was always confident she’d run it,” Maher said.

“We were quite happy just to let her go and she’ll be better for the run.

“She was pretty impressive.”

Maher was glad he decided to give Coolangatta her final warm-up at Doomben for the Magic Millions Classic.

“She could have almost gone into the Magic Millions fresh but I was happy to bring her here today as she’s an excitable filly,” he said.

“She’s still learning her craft and this is a tight track like the Gold Coast.”

Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, has followed the same path with Coolangatta as he did with Away Game, who won the 2020 Magic Millions after a Doomben warm-up win in the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes.

“She's different horse to Away Game who came here to Doomben before she won Magic Millions,” he said.

“It’s worked before.”

Meanwhile, champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller claimed his first Listed Bernborough Handicap with rejuvenated galloper Kubrick.

The once maligned former Sydneysider has found a new lease of life since blinkers were added to his gear and has now won three of his past four Brisbane starts.

Stable manager Brett Killion blamed a heavy track for Kubrick’s last start defeat when third to Charmmebaby in the Listed Brisbane Handicap at Doomben.

“The Heavy 10 last start wasn’t ideal and we would have liked it a bit dryer,” Killion said.

“He’s gained a lot of confidence and we’re not sure whether it’s the blinkers we’ve added or not.”