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Magic Millions Cup

The Magic Millions Cup is a Restricted Listed black type race held at Gold Coast Racecourse in Queensland each year. Winners and past results of the Magic Millions Cup

The Magic Millions Cup is not a Group race. The reason, for now at least, is that the race is restricted to horses that are alumni of the Magic Millions auctions held yearly at Gold Coast, Tasmania, Adelaide and Perth.

The race, we might say, plays second or maybe maybe third fiddle to the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.

While those two races receive most of the attention, the Magic Millions Cup offers $1 million in prizemoney to whichever horse can cover the 1400-metre trip the fastest.

2023 Magic Millions Cup Race Details

Date Of The Magic Millions Cup: 14/1/23

Venue For The Magic Millions Cup: Gold Coast Racecourse

Time Of The Magic Millions Cup: TBA

Recommended Online Bookmaker To Bet On For The Magic Millions Cup: Ladbrokes

The official grade of the race is Restricted Listed and it is run under Quality Handicap conditions at Gold Coast Racecourse in Queensland. There are some additional special conditions for the Magic Millions Cup. Any horse that has won a race at any of the metro venues in the year prior to the Acceptance deadline is eligible if that win resulted in more than $31,000 in prizemoney. Further, the horse must have competed in at least five races at Provincial or Country racecourses in the year leading up to the race.

The most recent winner, from 2022, was Eleven Eleven. He beat the 17 other horses in the race by a whisker in a dramatic photo finish and earned $572,000 for the win plus a $2,500 bonus, which is probably safely deposited in Eleven Eleven jockey Hugh Bowman’s pocket, where it will languish from lack of sunlight.

Just kiddin’ Hughie.

Five-year-old Eleven Eleven is by Australia’s Fastnet Rock out of the USA’s Smokin’ Alice and his lines indicate a heavy dose of northern hemisphere blood.

You can watch Eleven Eleven’s narrow win over Holyfield, Apache Chase and Frosty Rocks at the following link. Frosty Rocks shares lineage with Eleven Eleven. Frosty Rock’s grandsire was Fastnet Rock.

History of the Magic Millions Cup

Here is a good spot to include some background on the Magic Millions Sales operation. We found it interesting that Winx was an alumnus. She was purchased for a paltry $230,000 at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale and went on to win over $26 million from 43 jumps. For the record, she never competed in any of the Magic Millions carnivals. Winx did win two minor races as a two-year-old and she ran in one race at Sunshine Coast Racecourse, where she won the Sunshine Coast Guineas, A group 3 race.

Those readers proficient in math will know instantly, but for the rest of us, it works out to over $600,000 per race.

The record for highest bid at Magic Millions belongs to two horses. In 2008, Patinack Farm spent $2.2 million for a couple of colts by Redoute’s Choice. We know that Redoute’s Choice sired two Group 1 winners in 2007 – Group 1 winner Absolutely that won the Group 1 Australian Oaks and King’s Rose, winner of the New Zealand Group 1 Thousand Guineas.

Absolutely won about $470,000, while King’s Rose brought in over $1 million. Both those gallopers, however, were fillies.

Digging much deeper, we learned that Redoute’s Choice sired 68 colts in 2007. The three best in terms of prizemoney were Rekindled Interest ($888,000), California ($A450,000 earned racing in Hong Kong) and Ranyroo ($A1.75 million earned racing in Japan).

We cannot be certain that any of those three were the two colts purchased by Patinack Farm at the 2008 Magic Millions Sale, but our point is that those three combined earned just over $3 million for their entire careers. If any two of these three were the colts purchased by Patinack Farm, the return on investment was well below their auction price. It was, in fact, negative. Of further interest to us is that Redoute’s Choice’s stud fee took a major leap from 2006 to 2007, which could explain in part why his 2007 colts fetched such large sums at auction.

It only goes to show that if Thoroughbred breeding and racing experts have a hard time assessing racing talent, the rest of us should not feel bad if we cannot pick a winner when there is a $20 punt on.

As to the actual history of the Magic Millions Cup, it was first run in 1999. The Magic Million website leads us to think that the race was not held in 2000, 2001 and 2002. At least, those three years do not list a winner for the race and the website looks to us to be too professional for us to think that someone simply forgot to post winners for those years.

Venue for the Magic Millions Cup

The Magic Millions Cup is run at the Gold Coast Racecourse in Queensland. It is in the town of Bundall, about an hour’s drive south of Brisbane. At any great distance from the course, most people will have a better idea of the location if the name of Surfers Paradise is used.

For the Magic Millions Carnival, there is racing on Saturday, followed by a week of Thoroughbred auctions, with the big race day coming on the next Saturday.

The course is shaped like a proper oval, except there are four straight sections. For a 1400-metre race such as the Magic Millions Cup, the runners start opposite the grandstands on the east side of the track. They race clockwise, using three of the four straights in the process, with the finishing straight running south to north.

The course proper came into use in 1946, although there was plenty of racing going on in the region in the last decade of the 1800s.

The venue stages about 60 Thoroughbred races per year. In addition to the major races of the Magic Millions Carnival, the course also stages other significant black type events, such as the Prime Minister’s Cup and the A.D. Hollindale Stakes, both of which jump in early May.

Racing History of the Magic Millions Cup

Since the race made its debut in 1999, there have been some notable winners, but not a lot, obviously.

This affords us the opportunity to examine the winners, their racing records and their pedigrees a little more closely than some of the 100-year-old races held at the big metro tracks further to the south permit.

The winner of the first race in 1999 was General Nediym.

He was foaled in 1994 and he was by Ireland’s Nediym out of Australia’s Military Belle. General Nediym was her best progeny by far and the same could be said of the sire. Nediym made 41 jumps, a big number for a sire by today’s measure, where a top galloper might race only a handful of times.

General Nediym earned over $2.1 million from just 21 jumps for 13 wins and four placings. His lines were mostly northern hemisphere and included greats such as Canada’s Northern Dancer and Nearctic, Italy’s Nearco and Great Britain’s Hyperion, all names we find prominently in the best Australian racers. He would go on to sire some handy types, but not truly big winners.

He won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and raced at Flemington, Royal Randwick and other major metro venues. After he won the Magic Millions Cup, he raced two more times, running second on both occasions to Kidman’s Cove in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes at Randwick and the Apollo Stakes at Warwick Farm.

General Nediym won the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in 1998 and the Group 1 Lightning Stakes at the same course in the same year. Two races after the Magic Millions 2YO win, he ran fourth in the Group 1 Golden Slipper at Rosehill in Sydney.

He won his first five races before the 1997 Golden Slipper Stakes, and then won his next four, so this was no instance of getting lucky and having a good day. He was often highly placed in races he did not win.

The next winner was Cosmic Rays in 2003.

Like General Nediym, most of Cosmic Rays’ lines were from the northern hemisphere. The one that jumped out at us was Ireland’s Star Kingdom, a sire that has had and is still having a profound impact on Australian flats racing.

We had to look twice when we saw that Cosmic Rays, which was not an exceptional galloper by any measure, won the race about 13 seconds quicker than any other winner did. We probed the result and found that in 2003, the race was only 1200 metres in length.

No one could accuse Cosmic Rays of being lazy. He made 56 jumps, but only won a bit above $300,000. He did not get into more than a handful of Group quality races. His best Group 1 result was fifth in the 2003 The Galaxy.

The 2004 winner, Amex, was a true bargain, selling for $20,000.

He was by Success Express out of Spriggy and he raced 61 times for 10 wins and 11 placings, bringing in a respectable $735,500. Like Cosmic Rays, Amex carried some Star Kingdom blood, with other notables in the line being Nijinsky of Canada and Australian champion Biscay, sire of the likes of Bletchingly Marscay and Zephyr Bay.

Inspire was the winner in 2005.

He was a handy gelding, nothing more, although he would qualify for or imaginary Pro Group Racing Hall of Fame based on his 76 starts. We like the types that work. Inspire won only nine races with 13 placings, earning less than an average of $1,000 per jump. His best win was the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes in Victoria.

The 2006 winner, Plans, sold for $40,000 at the 2003 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

She was unexceptional and was sent to New Zealand in 2002. New Zealand sent her back in 2003. The Magic Millions Cup was far and away her best win.

Warrior Trader won the Magic Millions Cup in 2007.

Like Inspire, Warrior Trader was a working horse, making 71 starts for nine wins and 16 placings. His total haul for all that racing was $627,000, so given that his auction price was $75,000, he paid a handsome return on his investment, even if his return was reduced by expenses for room and board, racing fees and jockey pay.

Gai Waterhouse was the buyer and trainer of the 2008 winner Theseo.

Theseo won over $3.2 million from racing and his yearling auction price was $120,000. He won at Group 1 level in 2004 when he took the Epsom Handicap in 2008, and then the MacKinnon Stakes, followed by the Ranvet Stakes in 2009. He won the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes in 2010 and he won the Ranvet for the second time that same year.

Masai Pride was the winner in 2009.

He was pretty good, a winner of over $670,000, but he never made it south of Queensland, racing his entire career at the metro and country tracks there.

A New Zealand horse named Walking Or Dancing was the winner in 2010. He walked and danced his way to eight wins. We took note when we learned that he had won the Newmarket Handicap in 2010, at least we were until we looked closer and saw that it was the Newcastle version of the race.

Bold Glance won the magic Millions Cup in 2011.

Like many of the prior winners, Bold Glance was good, not great. He won over $880,000 from 44 jumps for 10 wins and 13 placings. Other than his win in the Magic Millions Cup, he was consistently well finished, but he never won at Group level, although he did manage a third place in the 2011 Doncaster Handicap.

The most recognizable winner thus far was 2012’s Spirit Of Boom.

Spirit of Boom won over $2.2 million, with Group 1 wins in the 2014 William Reid Stakes and the Doomben 10,000. He developed into a good sire once he left racing. Boomsara out of Passara won over $1.6 million and Jonker out of Hearts And Arrows won over $2 million.

Spirit Of Boom was also sire to Outback Barbie.

Triple Elegance won in 2013 after selling to Chris Waller in 2008 for $80,000.

Velrosso won in 2014 and is one of several winners with lines to General Nediym, winner of the first Magic Millions Cup in 1999.

Spurtonic from 2015 was another Magic Millions purchase for Gai Waterhouse, but he did not pan out as well as Theseo.

The familiar name of Lucky Hussler appears on the winners list for 2016.

Lucky Hussler won over $2.1 million by successfully combing luck with hustle. He won at Group 1 level with victories in the 2015 William Reid Stakes and the Toorak Handicap.

Testashadow was the 2017 winner.

He won over $1.3 million, but he never lived up to the racing of his sire, Testa Rossa.

Change the name to Care To Think and you have the 2018 winner.

Again, it was a case of the son not being able to follow in the hoof steps of his famous father, So You Think. He did manage to bring in $879,000 in prizemoney, despite making only 21 jumps for six wins and four-second places.

Redouble, the 2019 winner, was one of Redoute’s Choice’s last progeny. He won over $1.5 million after fetching $200,000 at the auction. He raced in the Magic Millions Cup again in 2021, finishing three lengths back from Eleven Eleven, the winner in 2021 and 2022.

Eleven Eleven is the only two-time winner of the race.

We will not neglect 2020 winner Vega One.

He beat 2019 winner Redouble for his Magic Millions Cup win.

Vega One can be seen winning the 2020 Magic Millions Cup at the following link.

Conclusion

The Magic Millions Cup is the million-dollar race of which most people have never heard.

It does attract quality horses to the field, even though the race is restricted to gallopers that have passed through the Magic Millions auction barn.

The Magic Millions Cup, along with the 2YO Classic and the 3YO Guineas, as well as the rest of the races at the meeting, come along when racing punters are eager for top level Group racing to resume with the autumn campaigns, so the races at the Magic Millions Carnival attract a lot of interest.

YearMagic Millions Cup Winners
2022Eleven Eleven
2021Eleven Eleven
2020Vega One
2019Redouble
2018Care To Think
2017Testashadow
2016Lucky Hussler
2015 Spurtonic
2014Velrosso
2013Triple Elegance
2012Spirit Of Boom
2011Bold Glance
2010Walking Or Dancing
2009Masai Pride
2008Theseo
2007Warrior Trader
2006Plans
2005Inspire
2004Amex
2003Cosmic Rays
1999General Nediym

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