Magic Meryl is Classic bound

Saturday 30 December 2017, 3:13pm

Sydney filly Meryl lived up to her strong trial form when she burst into Magic Millions Classic contention with a win in the $200,000 Group Thee B J McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben.

Meryl ($8) looks a real chance of becoming the first horse since Unencumbered in 2014 to win the McLachlan Magic Millions Classic double.

Ridden a clever race by Christian Reith, Meryl steamed home to beat Hopes Eternal ($10) by three-quarters of a length with a neck to Witherspoon ($6.50) in third.

A $150,000 buy at the Magic Millions Meryl lifted her prize money to $131,000 which is more than enough to make the Classic field on January 13.

Meryl was one of the stars of the preseason trials but was sent to have a break after failing in the Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick in September.

Trainer Lee Curtis brought her back and set her for the Millions with two trials at Rosehill and she won the last one in style.

"I didn't feel she was at her best in the Gimcrack and the break has done her the world of good. Chris (Reith) felt there wasn't much early pace in the race but they went very hard which suited us perfectly," Curtis said.

"I think she will be improved further for the Millions but it is going to be very tough."

Meryl is the first stakes winner for former Group one winner Epaulette who also had his first winner with Katy's Daughter two weeks ago at Doomben.

"It is an exciting time because he is owned by a group of women so she is eligible for $500,000 in bonus payments," Curtis said.

The Magic Million is proving a good sale for Curtis who also got his 2016 Victoria Oaks winner Lasqueti Spirit at the Gold Coast sale.

Reith said Meryl had been suited by the extreme early pace and was travelling well coming to the turn.

Hopes Eternal is not a Magic Millions horse and trainer John Zielke is looking at the winter.

"He is a perfect horse for the Sires and JJ Atkins," he said.

Witherspoon will struggle to make the Magic Millions field while favourite Orcein ($3.30) who ran fourth will probably be spelled.

– AAP

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