First acceptances for January’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic were taken on Friday with 210 (193 named and 17 unnamed) two-year-olds entered, continuing the trend of record initial entries back in October.
Amongst the extensive list of hopefuls are numerous recent winners highlighted by Saturday’s extremely exciting Snitzel colt Nikitas, a winner by almost five lengths at Doomben.
Trainer Kelso Wood was full of praise for the winning colt post-race, comparing him favourably with one of the stable’s recent stars, the Group 1 winner Sizzling, also a son of Arrowfield Stud’s Snitzel, who was represented by his first crop of foals born this season.
“I think he is in the mould of Sizzling. He is a colt and I have to keep him ticking over so he will have one more start leading into the Magic Millions,” stated Woods.
Bred by Gilgai Farm, Nikitas is a half-brother to this season’s Group 1 VRC Oaks winner Jameka (Myboycharlie), out of the General Nediym mare Mine Game.
Mine Game currently has a yearling filly by Group 1 W.S. Cox plate winner Shamus Award, with Gilgai Farm’s Kelly Skillecorn describing the filly as “similar to Jameka and Nikitas, all being stamped very strongly by their dam.”
“They have great strength, but are also athletic and easy moving.”
“Mine Game herself had enormous ability in her own right, but had knee chips and associated complications, so we never got to see a glimpse of her ability on the racecourse.”
Consigned through the draft of Segenhoe Stud at the 2015 Magic Millions Yearling Sale, Nikitas was knocked down to renowned agent John Foote for $280,000.
Segenhoe Stud’s General Manager Peter O’Brien remembered Nikitas as a yearling due to his outstanding action.
“He was a perfectly balanced two-year-old type with as good an action as you could see,” stated O’Brien.
“Although he was a touch plain in the head, he had a wonderful attitude and had a walk through walls type mentally.”
With an interesting pedigree having both Snitzel, who finished dead-heat third in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and General Nediym as a broodmare sire who won the race in 1997, Nikitas has the right credentials to play a part in the 2016 race for his connections.
Other two-year-old winners amongst the list of first acceptances include the Sledmere Stud sold Emtevee Queen (below), a $20,000 yearling purchase by her trainer Kevin Kemp who has won two of her three starts to date.
Tony Gollan’s exciting Zelady’s Night Out looks one of Queensland’s leading chances after the Myboycharlie filly recorded a debut win by over four lengths, while Uncle Mo’s first Australian winner Conchita, who broke an 11-year class record by more than 1.5 seconds, looks an outstanding contender for trainer Paul Perry.
Peter and Paul Snowden’s three length Listed Breeders’ Plate winner Capitalist (Written Tycoon) who currently heads the betting for the race is set to barrier trial on Tuesday at Rosehill, with the James Harron secured colt, along with stablemate and Breeders’ Plate runner up Detective (Snitzel), part of six entries for the training duo.
Nikitas Image: Tara Croser, Courier Mail
Emtevee Queen Image: Vinery Stud website