Star two-year-old Capitalist is on course to join a select group to claim the Magic Millions Classic-Golden Slipper double after a brilliant performance on Saturday.
Capitalist, backed from $1.60 to $1.40, lived up to his rating as the shortest-priced favourite in Magic Millions 2YO Classic history when he beat Nikitas ($11) by 2-1/2 lengths.
Candika ($26) came from well back to get third – a half length further back.
Jockey Blake Shinn held his nerve in a four-horse charge to the first turn and at one stage feared he might be pushed too far back.
But once Capitalist found his place the Gold Coast’s premier race race was as good as over.
Capitalist will be trying to join Dance Hero (2004) and Phelan Ready (2009) as winners of the Magic Millions-Golden Slipper double.
Bookmakers shortened Capitalist from $6 to $3.50 for the Golden Slipper on March 16 despite trainer Peter Snowden saying the youngster isn’t a confirmed runner for the Rosehill race.
“It was only his second run back from a spell. It isn’t as though he was having his fourth or fifth run in. I can give him a week to 10 days off and then make up my mind,” Snowden said.
“But at this stage I am leaning towards a Slipper run. You never know exactly what you have because he just keeps improving,” Snowden said.
Snowden has won the Golden Slipper with Sepoy but he refused to make a comparison between Capitalist and the 2011 winner.
Snowden is rated as one of Australia’s best trainers but his effort with Capitalist was something special.
“We dodged a bullet when he had an elevated temperature two weeks ago,” Snowden said.
“At one stage we feared he might have to be turned out but he got over it quickly and worked well at Randwick last week.
“He probably raced a bit closer than we expected today but he jumped very well and Blake was able to put him in a key position.”
Shinn, who had earlier won on Wolf Cry for Snowden, said Capitalist was the consummate professional and was up with the best horses he had ridden.
“One of his best attributes is that he wants to work with you and the sky’s the limit,” Shinn said.
Trainer Kelso Wood and jockey Michael Cahill were thrilled with the run of Nikitas who came from just behind the pace.
Paul Hammersley was equally delighted with Candika.
Snowden provided three of the first five placegetters with Niccolance finishing fourth and Mooshakissa fifth.