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Waterhouse has a strong hand to make it a Magic five on the Coast

Steve Moran | 12.01.2019

Nobody’s won more Magic Millions 2YO Classics than Gai.

Today she has every chance to claim a fifth, and a first in partnership with Adrian Bott, with either of her two unbeaten colts – Unite And Conquer (Hinchinbrook) and Czarson (Stratum).

All but one of her previous four winners has been knocked down to the woman herself, Mrs Waterhouse, and all three for next to nothing, relatively at least. An aggregate of $250,000 for Assertive Lad, Excellerator and Dance Hero. Her other winner was the $75,000 Star Thoroughbreds purchase Driefontein.

Last year, in partnership with Bott and Blueblood Thoroughbreds, she purchased Unite And Conquer from Victoria’s Musk Creek Farm for $80,000 – virtually spot on the average purchase price of her past winners.

That’s even lower than the c. $120,000 which is the average purchase price of the past ten MM 2YO Classic winners. She’s not a bad judge, you know! The half brother, by So You Think, incidentally sold late yesterday for $190,000 to Blueblood Thoroughbreds in perhaps a reasonable show of confidence and definitely a reasonable gamble.

Unite And Conquer is strong and imposing. He has more a Guineas pedigree than that of a Magic Millions winner but has displayed great speed in both wins, and providing all is well with him, I can’t picture him stopping late even if he does have to do some early work from a probable gate 14 (pending scratchings).

His stablemate Czarson is similarly impressive and blessed with speed. He’s also drawn out but there’s no lack of strength or substance, either, in his pedigree.

Czarson, offered by Amarina Farm, was knocked down for $200,000 to PL Bloodstock last year. He is the first foal out of the Show A Heart mare Wobbly Boots, who recorded four of her five wins around the Gold Coast track. (She has a filly by Epaulette at the upcoming Inglis Classic Yearling Sale).

The two Waterhouse prepared colts will take some beating despite drawing out. True, 14 of the past 17 winners have started from single-figure barriers but Houtzen drew 16 of 16 two years ago and Sunlight won from 12 (of 16) last year.

The thing about barrier draws is that we never know their true significance until about 200 metres after the start, by which time it’s too late to change our minds.

Racing is full of such wonderful vagaries. The 2017 winner Houtzen (who cost $105,000) has since been a multiple stakes winner and starts an odds-on favourite today in the “Snippets” on the Coast.

Meanwhile that year’s runner-up Chauffeur, by Snitzel from the 2006 Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Mirror Mirror and who cost $1.6 million, has been placed just once since and is 20/1 plus in race seven at Flemington where he runs for the first time for Darren Weir. He has trialled well incidentally.

What a difference a half length, that day on the Gold Coast, might have made.

The hometown Flemington card holds some appeal with particular depth in the last four races – the legs of the quaddie.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Naantali appeals each way in race six as does Vainstream, prepared by John Pascoe, in race nine.

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