Fast early pace played into hands of the backmarkers in Magic Millions 2YO Classic

After a slow beginning and then being crowded by other runners, the Godolphin-raced filly initially looked to face a daunting task after settling in third-last place in the 16-horse field.

But a hot tempo, set by the outsiders Champagne Jet (Jet Spur) and The Odyssey (Better Than Ready), resulted in the leaders clocking quick splits for the first 800 metres (45.42), passing through the first 400 metres in 22.97 and the 600 metres in 34.19.

Kerrin McEvoy remained patient with Exhilarates given such strong early fractions, tracking up deep behind Hugh Bowman on Hightail (Written Tycoon) from the 600 metres.

The classy filly then showed a great turn of foot when switched to the middle of the track, finishing so strongly she scored by almost a length at the post in a time of 1:08.95.

Exhilarates returned the fastest closing sectionals of the race, with her last 800 metres completed in 44.94, last 600 metres in 33.76, last 400 metres in 22.73 and her final 200 metres in 11.37.

The runner-up, Dubious (Not A Single Doubt), did well given he raced reasonably close to the pace in fifth place. Hightail ran on to finish third having raced in 12th place early, while Czarson (Stratum) did well to hold on for fourth after racing deep in 6th place.

In the other $2 million race on the day, the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (RL, 1400m), the Chris Munce-trained Boomsara (Spirit Of Boom) was able to hold on by the narrowest of margins after a skilful front-running ride by Tim Clark.

A noted speedster, Boomsara needed to show his customary pace to cross over from a wide barrier (13) and after reaching the lead, Clark was able to set a relatively comfortable tempo that saw the first 800 metres clocked in 46.98 (11.74 200m rate).

He lifted the pace upon reaching the 600 metres, the final sectional being clocked in 34.15 (11.38 200m rate).

Boomsara then showed determination in holding off bids from Bondi (Snitzel) and Outback Barbie (Spirit Of Boom) in a thrilling finish where the final margins were a nose and a nose.

Outback Barbie produced the quickest closing sectionals of that trio, with her last 600 metres in 33.78, last 400 metres in 22.69 and her final 200 metres in 11.21.

In the opening race on the day, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained filly Terminology (Star Witness) staged a very good on-pace performance in taking out the $244,000 Magic Millions Maiden Plate (1200m), the richest maiden race in the country.

Terminology began well and then travelled outside the leader Pipe Dream Lass (Dream Ahead) before going to the front on entering the home straight.

She then fought back particularly well for Tim Clark to score by a length from the late-closing Team Hawkes-trained three-year-old Rock (Pierro) in the quick time of 1:08.68.

A feature of Terminology’s win was the early pace that saw the first 1000 metres (from the start to the 200m point) clocked in a fast 56.80, adding considerable merit to her breakthrough victory, her first win in eight starts after being placed on four occasions.

The runner-up Rock also impressed. It was only his second start and his first run this preparation, while he also came from 11th at the home turn after starting from a difficult barrier (15).

Rock produced the fastest closing sectionals of the race, with his last 800 metres completed in 44.16, last 600 metres in 33.20, last 400 metres in 22.39 with his final 200 metres in 11.16.

Other noteworthy performances on the watch at the Gold Coast included the Chris Waller-trained mare Invincibella (I Am Invincible), who ran fast closing sectionals in taking out the $1m Magic Millions Fillies & Mares (1300m) for the second year in succession.

Ridden patiently by Hugh Bowman in seventh place, Invincibella came with a well-timed bid to grab a short neck victory in the quick of time of 1:15.22 (11.57 200m rate), equivalent to 1400m in 1:21.00.

Invincibella was timed to run her final 1000 metres in 56.20, last 800 metres in 44.40, last 600 metres in 32.73, last 400 metres in 21.79 and her final 200 metres in 10.93.

Those latter three sectionals were especially impressive, demonstrated by Invincibella’s 200 metre breakdown (from the 600m): 10.94, 10.86 and 10.93.

In the preceding race, the $1m Magic Millions Snippets (1200m), the Bjorn Baker-trained mare Egyptian Symbol (Stratum) also produced stunning closing sectionals in coming from last in the 13-horse field to score impressively.

Having her first start since October, Egyptian Symbol scored by just under a length at the post in a very smart 1:08.17 for the 1200m journey.

But it was her latter sectionals that really took the eye – her 200 metres breakdown (from the 800m) being: 10.86, 10.70, 10.94 and 10.97.

That gave Egyptian Symbol fast times of 43.47 (last 800m), 32.61 (last 600m), 21.91 (last 400m) and 10.97 for her last 200 metres.

Baker later commented that he had come to the conclusion that Egyptian Symbol would race best ‘fresh’ and those times certainly confirm that line of thought.