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Less Ross secures three Magic Millions 2YO Classic starters

Mon 10 January 2022

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Les Ross and owner Mick Crooks will have three starters in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic after Mishani Spartan claimed the Aquis Gold Nugget in a stunning performance at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Mishani Spartan maintained his unbeaten record after two starts with an unbelievable last-to-first performance to win the 1100-metre feature.

Bred by Crooks, Mishani Spartan dawdled out of the gates to tail the field and was a conservative 10 lengths off the leaders in the middle stages on a heavy track.

But while the early leaders went searching for firmer ground, jockey Brett Prebble darted along the fence aboard Mishani Spartan who powered home for a commanding win.

Prebble only picked up the ride after regular rider Jackson Morris called in sick.

“Jackson rang to say he felt crook and needed a COVID test,” Ross said.

“I thought he was joking at first but he was serious.

“We’ve offered Brett the choice of our three in the race but at the moment I haven’t a jockey for any.”

Mishani Spartan’s price for the Magic Millions Classic was immediately slashed from triple figure odds into $17 following his win.

The gelding joined stable mates Mishani Warfare and Mishani Persuasion who also are owned by Crooks’ Mishani Enterprises in the 2YO feature race.

“That gives us three into the Millions so look out,” Ross said.

“We were trying to get another in today (Mishani Embrace) but it ran second (at Ipswich) but look out next week.”

Ross made a crucial gear change adding blinkers to the son of Husson following his Ipswich win.

“He was dropping back from 1200 to 1100 metres so I put the blinkers on,” Ross said.

“I’ve got to give a big shout out to John Thompson who said if you put blinkers on these horses, they improve 10 lengths.

“I don’t know if he improved 10 but he certainly improved.”

Meanwhile Sydney raider Miss Hellfire joined stablemate Russian Conquest as Team Snowden’s second Magic Millions starter after the filly claimed the Gold Pearl.

Miss Hellfire finished second on debut behind Soaring Ambition in the Wyong Magic Millions last month, and like Russian Conquest will be out to repeat the feat of Capitalist who won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic for the Snowdens in 2016.

Capitalist went on to claim the Group 1 Golden Slipper at Rosehill that year.

“The Wyong race wasn’t run to suit and she got pushed back to the inferior part of the track,” said co-trainer Paul Snowden.

“Even though they ran quick she was up on speed riding that hot speed and just got collared late.

“There’s a lot of improvement to come out of her and I’m really keen to back her up.”