Tony McEvoy will have two Magic Millions 2YO Classic runners after Sunlight’s Gold Coast victory.
Brilliant filly Sunlight is likely to have another start before the Magic Millions 2YO Classic despite a runaway win to qualify for the race at the Gold Coast.
Sent out a prohibitive favourite, Sunlight ($1.50) needed to win the Early Bird GA Magic Millions Handicap (900m) to qualify for the Classic on January 13 and she did it in style giving her sire Zoustar his first winner.
She ran slightly faster time than the winner of the first division of the two-year-old Katy’s Daughter but her final 600m sectional was an outstanding 32.20 seconds.
Trainer Tony McEvoy has had to play a patient game with Sunlight who he paid $300,000 for at the Magic Millions Yearling Sales earlier this year.
McEvoy will be among the first to inspect Sunlight’s sister who is to go under the hammer at next month’s sales.
He had intended to run Sunlight in the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes at Doomben last Saturday but scratched her after she drew the outside barrier in a field of 18.
The Calaway Gal was won by the Tony Gollan-trained Outback Barbie who Sunlight had earlier beaten in a Gold Coast barrier trial.
McEvoy then decided to send her to the Gold Coast where the $40,200 first prize lifted her overall earnings to $51,000 which will be enough to get her into the Millions..
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McEvoy said he believed before the race Sunlight would need another run and he confirmed it after the race.
“There is an 1100-metre race a week before the Millions and at this stage that is where we are heading,” He said,
“It is great to be in Queensland with a smart filly like this one.”
Last year’s Magic Millions winner Houtzen and the winner of the 2015 race Le Chef both ran in the 1100m Gold Coast race a week before the Millions.
Sunlight was as much as $41 in some pre-post betting markets for the Magic Millions, even after her barrier trial win.
But after Saturday’s race she was generally at $11 with most bookmakers.
McEvoy is set to have two Millions runners as Crockett, who will run in next week’s McLachlan Stakes at Doomben on Saturday, has already qualified.
“We needed more prize money for Sunlight and now we have it,” McEvoy said.
Dram of Delago ($9) lived up to her good trial this week to be second albeit well beaten and just in front of the dead-heaters for third King Of The North ($13) and Yamazaki ($13).