SOME MCEVOY MAGIC
Goldolphin claim their first Classic with iron filly Exhilarates
KERRIN McEvoy added another rich prize to his bulging trophy cabinet as Godolphin made an ominous statement in its first tilt on the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast with iron filly Exhilarates yesterday.
Exhilarates settled much further back than expected, but came with a sustained burst in the straight to clock the third fastest Magic Millions time ever.
Godolphin only re-entered the buying fray at Magic Millions last year and Exhilarates was one of eight yearlings they purchased. It was Godolphin’s new Australian manager Vin Cox, formerly Magic Millions managing director, who suggested the organisation needed to reinvigorate its bloodstock and start buying yearlings again.
“I knew we had a couple of nice horses but it is tough to get a runner,” Cox said.
“This week, once she was in the field, I tried not to think about it, but just before the race I turned to my wife and said ‘I really want to win this race’.
“It is like the perfect end for me and beginning rolled into one.
“We have had a great year at Godolphin, but for me personally, this is outstanding.”
Godolphin’s Australian trainer James Cummings now joins his famous grandfather Bart on the Magic Millions honour roll.
“In the first year we’ve been buying yearlings we’ve made a bit of a statement that we can buy the right ones and we’ve got the right system to get them to show their true potential,” he said.
“Bart was a fair trainer of two-year-olds (as well as stayers) and he taught me well.
“I also got taught by my father (Anthony) and had a few years watching Gai (Waterhouse) and Peter Snowden when he came to Randwick and they probably regret showing me some of the things they did.
“It’s such a wonderful thing for a young trainer to have horses like Exhilarates at my feet.”
It was also a first Magic Millions win for McEvoy, adding to the two Everests and two Melbourne Cups he has won since November 2016.
McEvoy’s mounts have won more than $50 million in the last two-and-a-half seasons with other seven-figure races in that time including a Golden Rose, Tancred Stakes, Queen of the Turf, Sydney Cup and Darley Classic.
He went within a smidgen’ of landing the big double yesterday, with Bondi a breath away from winning the Guineas.
“After beginning a bit sticky, she was able to get out of trouble and get in the clear and she hammered home the last 400m,” McEvoy said.
“I was worried at the 600m, but I was able to get on the back of Hughie (Bowman) and Hightail and they took me into the race and I was able to get off his back. “Full credit to the filly. “She’s not very big, but she’s so game and obviously has a nice motor underneath her.”
couriermail.com.au/sport THRILLER: Favourite Exhilarates wins the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast yesterday with a majestic Kerrin McEvoy ride.
THE CHAMP: Kerrin McEvoy celebrates his victory.