Cairns trainer Fred Wieland with Miss Honalee, one of the favourites to take out today’s Rockhampton Magic Millions Plate at Callaghan Park.
Cairns trainer Fred Wieland with Miss Honalee, one of the favourites to take out today’s Rockhampton Magic Millions Plate at Callaghan Park. Chris Ison

Magic brings out best

IN HORSE racing it has long been acknowledged that enticing prizemoney lures horses from near and far and it is ever so applicable with the running of the $100,000 Rockhampton Magic Millions Plate (1200m) at Callaghan Park racecourse today. .

The field of 10 precocious well bred thoroughbreds come from bases as far afield as Cairns; Brisbane; Toowoomba; the Sunshine Coast; Mackay and naturally Rockhampton.

By the time they return to their stables, between them the 10 youngsters and their entourage of trainers, jockeys; owners and strappers will have travelled 8100km. It is a point not lost with Magic Millions General Manager David Chester who said: “That’s what these Magic Millions races are all about. Drawing top horses; trainers and jockeys on a level playing field for the locals to have a chance at the big money in their own back yard”.

Cairns trainer Fred Wieland and his talented Hidden Dragon filly Miss Honahlee (Trinity Bannon) have travelled 1066 kilometres to chase the magical money today.

Travelling companion Sheza Dragon, another of the Hidden Dragon breed has already fuelled the trip by winning at Callaghan Park on Tuesday.

“This filly Miss Honahlee should be suited down to the ground by the 1200 metres and the big long stretches of this track. She gets back but her win over the shorter unsuitable distance at Townsville on March 22 under 57kg was a real good effort on a terrible (heavy) track”, Wieland said.

Rated an $9.00 chance by top bookmaker Vince Aspinall, who believes the southern horses will have the edge, Miss Honahlee drops 3kg in weights today.

Rival trainer Toowoomba’s Ron Macrae believes his Oratorio gelding Aquatorial, with whom he has travelled 643km, can make it worthwhile by winning the Millions.

The astute Macrae, who has a grand record on his sojourns at Callaghan Park, says weights are in Aquatorial’s favour.

“He meets the likes of Spurtastic and Trump on better weight terms for beating them home at Doomben last start,” Macrae reasoned.

On that occasion Aquatorial endured a wide passage when three lengths second to Show A Prince over 1110 metres on March 26.

“He had to sit out three wide throughout the race after drawing the outside and you just can’t do that in a race and win. He has been unlucky in a few starts but has come up with the rails barrier in the Millions so I hope that doesn’t work against him,” Macrae said.

He explained that Aquatorial has a frustrating habit of dwelling slightly at the start which could impede his rails draw advantage should he do that today.

Premier Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote has Trump (Shane Scriven) engaged in the Millions.

Three Sunshine Coast youngsters will line-up – Col Williamson’s Spurtastic (Jim Byrne) and Harry Reed’s pair of Hundred Cube (Glen Colless) and Your Move (Dean Tanti).

Best prospect of the three local youngsters appears as Julie Green’s Brisbane placegetter from last Saturday in Takotna.

Vince Aspinall’s Market: $2.25 Aquatorial; $4.60 Hundred Cube; $5.00 Spurtastic; $9 Trump; Miss Honahlee; $13.00 Takotna; $17.00.



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