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Shihonka set to lock in Magic Millions Guineas berth

Wed 29 December 2021

By Glenn Davis

Talented Sydney filly Shihonka will boost trainer Gai Waterhouse‘s confidence of another Magic Millions Guineas victory if successful in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate at Doomben on Saturday.

Waterhouse, who trains in partnership with Adrian Bott, holds the record for most numbers of wins in the Magic Millions Guineas, having won it three times with Ha Ha in 2002, followed by Biaggio in 2003 and more recently with Sweet Idea in 2014.

Sweet Idea also ran second in the Magic Millions Classic – a race Waterhouse has won four times.

Shihonka is a borderline contender and currently 24th in order of entry with $121,540 in prizemoney for the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast on January 15.

“Hopefully she’ll just get in if a few above come out,” Bott said.

However, the daughter of former Magic Millions Classic winner Capitalist, can ease any concerns of gaining a start if she collects the $174,000 first prize.

A winner of three of her six starts, Shihonka has drawn barrirer one for Tommy Berry and is coming off a last start win when she stepped up in distance for the first time to win a Benchmark race over 1350 metres at Rosehill on December 4.

“She’s been up in Brisbane with Chris Munce for the past two weeks and she had a trial in between at Rosehill before she went up,” Bott said.

“She ran second in the trial but wasn’t asked to do much.”

“She’s pretty versatile and led at Rosehill but she doesn’t have to lead.

“When she won at Rosehill she was there to be beaten but she fought them all off well.”

Doomben is rated a soft six and Bott’s biggest concern is the weather with some rain forecast this week.

“We’d prefer her to be on top of the ground and the weather does concern us a little,” Bott said.

Bott joined in a partnership with Waterhouse in 2017 and is yet to taste Magic Millions Guineas glory but is hopeful Shihonka can break the drought.

The filly is out of the three times winner, Stroak, who was formerly trained at the Gold Coast by Bryan and Daniel Guy.

Stroak ran in the 2014 Magic Millions Classic but had her chances ruined when checked at the start before finishing fifth to Unencumbered.

The following year Stroak ran 12th in the Magic Millions Guineas won by South Australian Deiheros.