Magic Millions Preview with Chris Scholtz: 19th January 2023

Chris Scholtz previews the rescheduled Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast on January 19 with selections for all races plus today's Wyong meeting, Trial Watch and Blackbook Reports.

KING OF SPARTA Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

WYONG January 18



RACE 1: 12-3-8-6

RACE 2: 3-4-1-6

RACE 3: 3-4-8-6

RACE 4: 4-9-8-1

RACE 5: 3-10-2-5

RACE 6: 3-1-6-2

RACE 7: 5-8-6-7

EMPIRE OF JAPAN Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

GOLD COAST January 19






RACE 1: 3-6-12-14

RACE 2: 5-14-16-1

RACE 3: 16-4-12-13

RACE 4: 4-14-7-1

RACE 5: 8-6-5-1

RACE 6: 1-14-3-12

RACE 7: 2-1-3-4

RACE 8: 5-3-2-16

RACE 1 (3) ALPINE EDGE: The home track advantage is the icing on an ideal set up for this talented gelding who was placed in the MM Classic as a 2YO. He hits this third up after two prep runs over 1000m at Eagle Farm and 1200m at Toowoomba where his second in the King Of The Mountain behind Yellow Brick is the strongest form line for this race that is restricted to QTIS horses. His weakness will be a wet track but he gets first use of the track and rates as the one to beat on Soft 5 or better. The key rival is (6) INDISCREETLY after an impressive trial that points to him being ready to perform first-up after 91 days. He's got strong course and distance form and is very good on affected tracks. (1) EF TROOP has an interesting gear change with the blinkers coming off after a bold first-up third at Doomben. Craig Williams and s wide draw may work for him but not sure he can beat these on a soft track under 58kg. (2) WISDOM OF WATER has been struggling to find his best form but he won this race last year and as a four-time Gold Coast winner he has the right track credentials. (5) GREY DEFENCE, (10) SAFEWORK, (12) STUTTERING and (14) DR WHY NOT offer good value for the exotics.

2 hard to beat but needs a drying track. Save on 6. 1, 5, 10, 12 and 14 for the exotics.

RACE 2 (5) PARRY SOUND: Tough race. Happy to have a play at value odds on PARRY SOUND as he did well here 12 months ago in this same event and his prep runs in Sydney have him going well. (14) DEFICIT backs up a very fit horse from his strong win here on the first day. Drops sharply in weight and is racing like he will eat up the extra ground. Backing that form to stand up with the runner-up (16) ASHGROVE also well treated with a handy drop in weight. You can make a case for (1) SKY LAB coming off a G3 placing despite his big weight and the go forward stablemates (10) TOO MUCH CAVIAR and (11) ZOUMON are sure to make this a genuine test.

5 and 14 offer good value in a race of many chances. 1, 3, 10, 11 and 16 could all be included.

PARRY SOUND Picture: Steve Hart

RACE 3 (14) EMPRESS OF WONDER: This is a high class filly with her wide draw likely to be more of a help than hindrance if the track plays as expected. There's abundant speed in this field from the likes of 5, 8, 13 and 14, setting up the last 400m for strong finishers able to find the right part of the track. EMPRESS OF WONDER has been excellent in her two starts with her last start second over 1000m at Eagle Farm a clear indicator that she will be hard to hold out over the extra 200m. It's a similar set up for the impressive colt (4) EMPIRE OF JAPAN with the bonus of the McDonald factor from his wide gate. He was super winning the Breeders Plate on debut and there is plenty of scope for improvement off his resuming third at Randwick. The map points to EMPRESS OF WONDER getting on to his back with the pair making their runs together out wide. (12) SUMMER LOVING is another filly who has the 2kg weight advantage and with the addition of blinkers I expect her to make good improvement off her placing in the Wyong Magic Millions a month ago. That form is obviously strong taking a line through the subsequent Brisbane victory of the winner (2) SOVEREIGN FUND, another who will be favoured from an outside barrier. (13) SKIRT THE LAW has been dominant in her two wins and like SOVEREIGN FUND has the advantage of being a winner over 1200m. She'll be among the leaders but from her inside gate will have to absorb pressure and sustain her speed on what reads as the slower half of the track.

14 and 4 for the quinella. 12, 2 and 13 next best.

RACE 4: (4) YELLOW BRICK: He's won five of his first six starts from 1100m to 1600m and after putting away older horses with ease when resuming over 1200m at Toowoomba there is little reason to question his credentials despite meeting some quality 3YOs from the south. He's been OK on affected surfaces and has the tactical speed to enjoy a soft run so it may be his race to lose. (14) RUSSIAN CONQUEST was terrific zooming home for second first-up in the Gosford Guineas and remember she was unlucky not to win the MM Classic here 12 months ago. She's been set for this but may need to be on top of the ground to produce her best. No knock on the Wyong and Gosford efforts of (7) HELL I AM since resuming while Melbourne colt (1) TIJUANA is a G2 winner with his spring carnival form rating above what anything has done in this field. Takes on 1400m first-up on a soft track with 58kg but you should never second guess the Hayes stable. (2) FASHION LEGEND, (5) SPIRITUALISED and (12) STROLL rate well enough on their Queensland form.

Hard to fault the credentials of 4 but the southern form of 1, 7 and 14 is strong. 2, 5, and 12 will run well.

YELLOW BRICK Picture: Racing Queensland/Michael McInally

Race 5 (8) BROOKSPIRE: She performs best on a light prep and has had the right set up with a soft Gold Coast trial since her last start in Sydney five weeks ago. Her classy stablemate (1) KIKU, a G2 winner and third in this race last year, is primed to run to her best off her last start Doomben fourth when resuming but BROOKSPIRE gets 3kg off her and you have to respect the choice of mounts by stable number one James McDonald. BROOKSPIRE is also meeting the much improved (6) BAROSSA ROSA 3.5kg better from their last meeting in Sydney and gets a big tick if the track remains affected as she has raced eight times on slow and heavy for three wins and three placings. (3) JAMAEA; (4) DIAMONDS and (5) ME ME LAGARDE are the late swoopers.

8 to win from 1-6-5.

BROOKSPIRE Picture: Steve Hart

RACE 6 (1) KING OF SPARTA: Set for a Magic Millions double after his big win in the Guineas at this meeting last year. He's back in the right form after his dominant first-up win over 1200m at Doomben when the betting suggested he would need the run. He's sure to be fitter for that run, he's proven on affected tracks and will get all the favours with McDonald on board. Few horses run faster than (14) MAOTAI when he's unleashed and that's likely to be the case here after a super lead-up trial win and the significant move to reapply blinkers. Probably gets the free running (12) SPACEBOY for company and that will set the race up perfectly for the topweight. The Brisbane form of (3) SHOOTING FOR GOLD will stand up in this company while good trials point to a big fresh run from (2) HARD EMPIRE on his home track. Be wary of the enigmatic (8) BLONDEAU – he was five lengths behind KING OF SPARTA at Doomben but his best is good enough and a damp track works for him.

1 is the horse to beat. 2, 3, 8, 12 and 14 for the exotics.

RACE 7 (2) SCALLOPINI: This is his third crack at the MM Sprint and it might be his best chance as he has an excellent strike rate when fresh and will get favourable track conditions. Went to a new level in Melbourne during the spring and a soft trial sets him up nicely to run to his best. (1) ELEVEN ELEVEN loves this track with three wins from his four visits and he's primed to run up to it again after a well-planned prep of 35 days and a trial since his last start. (3) RANGES excels with the sting out and has the edge in race fitness off two solid efforts in Sydney since resuming. Expect bold runs from (4) CONTEMPUOUS and (10) RUPERTAAR. (8) MOBSTAR is over the odds after his eye catching placing here 12 days ago.

2 and 1 both set for this fresh while track conditions favour 3. 4, 8 and 10 for the exotics.

SCALLOPINI  Picture: Racing and Sports

RACE 8 (5) OSCAR ZULU: With the track conditions unlikely to get out of the soft range it diminishes the chances of several acceptors but certainly boosts the prospects of this Chris Waller-trained gelding. He's taking this on off a break of 56 days but he has had two trials including a strong win on this track two weeks ago. He won the Goulburn Cup fresh up off a similar prep in October and the sting out of the ground is tailor made for him. The conditions and wide draw are also ideal for (3) HOLYFIELD and expect him to get every chance tracking the expected leaders (2) EMERALD KINGDOM and (16) PETRONIUS. EMERALD KINGDOM jumps 3kg for his last start win at Doomben but he's a genuine front runner while PETRONIUS has improved with every run since joining the Barry Lockwood stable and has the figures to measure up to the rise in class with the drop to the limit weight. (14) KING OF HASTINGS could be the blow out at generous odds. Really wanted to be with (7) SUPERIUM now he is back in winning form but he doesn't take to affected tracks, failing to win in 10 starts on soft and heavy and with this being the last race the surface is sure to be chopping out. (11) AMISH BOY rates well enough as he always does in this type of race but he's another who needs to be on top of the ground.

5 and 3 look the safe plays. 2, 14 and 16 for the exotics. Monitor late track conditions for 7 and 11.



WYONG WEDNESDAY: Maralago (R1); Tanglewood (R4); Villa Tino (R4); Fourth Spargo (R4); Takara Star (R4); Royal Empress (R4); Journalism (R6)



CANBERRA FRIDAY: Dancing Alone (R2/R4)

CANTERBURY FRIDAY: Emancipist (R1); Ithadtobezou (R2)

RANDWICK SATURDAY: Coincide (R1); Don Corleone (R1); Rockabilly Rebel (R1); Fleetwood (R1); Baroque Road (R5); Kanazawa (R8); Tazaral (R8)

KEMBLA GRANGE SATURDAY: We Don't Roam; Dame Cartland; Moonflower

RECENT TRIAL WATCH WINNERS: Florida Sky; Mariamia; Red Resistance; Nasdaq Dubai; Turn Up The Night; Big Happiness; The Instructor; Think About It; Moscow Night; Alicia Roma; Silentsar; Vreneli; Capitol Queen; Cigar Flick; Exploring; Garrison; Po Kare Kare; Hide Your Heart; Off Da Hizzle; Mission Value; Kalino.


RANDWICK January 9: In the short 2YO heats over 740m the Godolphin youngster FLEETWOOD took the eye making up ground under an easy ride for a strong fourth in a heat won by Capital Heart (43.65; 33.23).

GOSFORD January 5: DAME CARTLAND is a maiden filly by Written Tycoon and is a new addition to the Nathan Doyle stable from the Waterhouse/Bott team. Looks a good pick up for the Newcastle trainer after her strong work to win her 800m heat late in the session in the heavy going (49.74; 36.96), sitting three deep outside the lead but doing it easily and having her rivals well covered at the finish.

WARWICK FARM January 3: The feature of the session was a sweep of all five 2YO heats over 808m by the Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott stable, underlining the depth of juvenile talent in their team. COINCIDE (46.95; 33.58) made a good impression winning heat in the second fastest time of their five winners.

RANDWICK September 19: A strong win by the Extreme Choice colt DON CORLEONE in the fastest of the colts and geldings heats over 850m (51.19; 35.07). Took full advantage of the rails draw and first use of the track to trail the leader into the straight and was then put under a ride, responding under pressure to get the upper hand over the last 100m.


Eligible Blackbook Runners – January 18-19

GOLD COAST THURSDAY: Mobstar (R4); Bella Rouge (R5); Vowmaster (R6); Empress Of Wonder (R7); Summer Loving (R7); Tyresa (R8)

RECENT BLACKBOOK WINNERS: Hokkaido; Levante; Deficit; Frumos; Mr Rock It; Dunkel; Sunshine In Paris; Skyman; Validated; Superium; Cavalier Charles; Vienna Princess; Athelric; Bankers Choice; Turbeau; High Blue Sea; Pal D'Oro; Vilana; Key Largo; Argentia; Port Albert; Turaath; Minsk Moment; Rocketing By.

Blackbookers – Selected January 14

(Follow for next 3 starts)


Racing and Sports