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Palazzo Spirit set for Coolangatta battle

Wed 22 December 2021

By Glenn Davis

The picture leading into next month’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic could become a lot clearer following Sunday’s Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes at Doomben.

Star Queensland colt Palazzo Spirit will face his moment of truth when he lines up against boom Sydney filly Coolangatta, as both youngsters step up to 1200 metres for the first time.

Coolangatta has been all the rage for the two-year-old feature following her brilliant win in the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick in October and is currently the $2.25 market leader for the Magic Millions race.

Palazzo Spirit - a Baylee Nothdurft mount - is on the fourth line of betting at $15 after winning his only two starts, including his latest all the way win in the Listed Phelan Ready Stakes at Eagle Farm two weeks ago.

The Proven Thoroughbreds colt is currently sitting second on the order of entry with $136,400 in prizemoney while Coolangatta is fifth with $84,000.

Co-trainer Matt Hoysted is delighted with Palazzo Spirit ahead of his showdown with the Maher & Eustace-trained Coolangatta and has no concern about him going the extra distance.

“He’s been very good since his last win in the Phelan Ready and his work on Tuesday was very good,” Hoysted said.

“Coolangatta obviously will be hard to beat but this will be a good guide for the Magic Millions.

“Palazzo Spirit trialled well before he won his first race at Eagle Farm then he did the same just before the Phelan Ready.

“I don’t have an issue with him running 1200 metres.

“He’s just been floating over the ground over 1000 metres and has stargazed a bit but I’d love to see him get a sit and chase.”

Coolangatta, a daughter of Written Tycoon, showed she was ready to stamp her authority on the Bruce McLachlan with an easy barrier trial win at Randwick on December 7.

Co-trainer David Eustace rates Coolangatta a more athletic filly than 2020 Magic Millions 2YO Classic champion Away Game and will head to the Golden Slipper at Rosehill in the autumn if she performs well this summer.

The B.J. McLachlan has been a good guide leading into the Magic Millions, producing three winners in the past 10 years.

Gold Coast filly Military Rose won the Group 3 feature before taking out the 2010 Magic Millions, followed by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Driefontein in 2012 and Unencumbered who won in 2014.