Brilliant filly Sunlight is primed to become the first filly to complete the Magic Millions Classic-Golden Slipper double after her blistering win the $2 million first leg at the Gold Coast.
After an early skirmish in which Jonker was the major victim, hitting the running rail, Sunlight ($4 fav) sat off a fast early pace set by Ef Troop.
She took the lead in the straight and came away to hold off the fast-finishing Fullazaboot ($101) by two lengths.
Outback Barbie ($26) also ran on strongly to be another neck third with Ef Troop fourth.
Trainer Tony McEvoy spent hours mapping out a campaign for Sunlight in Queensland which got off to a bad start when she drew the outside barrier in the Calaway Gal Stakes and was scratched.
“But we then came to the Gold Coast and she won and won again here last week,” McEvoy said.
“I think the key was getting her here early. The Magic Millions Classic is a hard race to win from Victoria or South Australia.
“She was here settled in and almost like a local by the time the race got here.”
McEvoy said only half the job was done with the Group One Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill in April next on the agenda.
“Why wouldn’t we chase the Golden Slipper. She has shown today she is a very smart filly,” McEvoy said.
Three male horses have won the Millions-Golden Slipper double – Dance Hero, Phelan Ready and Capitalist.
McEvoy had a couple of other reasons to celebrate as Sunlight not only picked up $1.2 million prize money but also a $350,000 bonus for being the first female-owned horse over the line.
The $1.5 million return is a great result for the $300,000 McEvoy spent to buy her at last year’s Magic Millions Yearling Sales.
He had to go to $600,000 for her full sister at the Magic Millions sales this week.
Winning jockey Luke Currie, who was suspended earlier in the day for causing interference in the Magic Millions Cup, said he had been in bother early but the filly had used her natural speed to recover.
“Coming to the home turn it was matter of how far,” Currie said.
Fullazaboot did a great job from the outside barrier to get second and jockey Tye Angland said he had been a little unlucky.
“There was a lot of interference early. I don’t know where it came from but we got the backwash,’ Angland said.
“There is plenty of upside to him for the future.”
Outback Barbie was also the victim of interference according to her jockey Jim Byrne.
“She was able to absorb it but I would have liked to be two pairs closer and I might have tested the winner,” Byrne said.
Matt McGillivray, who rode Ef Troop, said the colt had been tardy out and he had used more petrol early than he wanted.
“I also had to relieve pressure on the inside but I was proud of him in a high pressure race,” McGillivray said.