For the second year in a row, Stephanie Thornton will the only female rider in the $2 million Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic when the field steps out for what could be a titanic battle at the Gold Coast on Saturday,
Thornton has justifiably kept the ride on the Annabel Neasham trained Queen Of Wizardry who she piloted to a boilover victory at Eagle Farm on January 2. Queen Of Wizardry was on debut that day and yet conducted herself like a seasoned professional, shifting wide and storming home from well off the speed to claim not only that prize (at a starting price of $31), but also to earn a potentially lucrative spot in the Classic line-up.
In the process that result also meant that the beaten favourite there, the $1.40 chance Ranch Hand, did not make the Magic Millions Classic field, instead only being installed as the first emergency acceptor … a rare hiccup for the Waller yard who already had two strong contenders, She’s All Class and Shaquero, safely secured in the big race line-up.
In 2020 Thornton rode Gotta Kiss in the Magic Millions Classic. Again, she had earned that ride having ridden the filly in all three of her starts prior to the Magic Millions Classic for two wins and a second placing. Even more significant, in terms of the vote of confidence shown in her retaining the ride there, was the fact that Thornton was still an apprentice, and therefore was again a standout as being the only apprentice to be offered a ride in the big race.
Gotta Kiss finished twelfth … but such is the multi layering of prize-money for the race … the connections earned an extra $25 000 for being the fourth all woman ownership group runner in the finishing order, thus qualifying for the Magic Millions Racing Women’s Bonus.
If Queen Of Wizardry was to win on Saturday, Thornton would become the second female jockey to win the MM Classic following in the footsteps of Claire Lindop, who famously saluted aboard the Leon Macdonald trained Augusta Proud in 2008.
Queen Of Wizardry is current quoted at a price of $21 with Sportsbet.
If that puts you off, remember double figure odds didn’t stop her last time.