Dearest isn’t necessarily best when it comes to trying to find the winner of the Magic Millions

The high-priced lots hog most of the headlines at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Four yearlings sold for at least $1 million on Wednesday and there will no doubt be more before the sale concludes this weekend.

But when it comes to trying to find the winner of the $2.5 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic, which will be run this Saturday, dearest isn’t necessarily best.

Sunlight, a $300,000 buy, last year became the highest-priced yearling to have won the 1200-metre event, which is open only to Magic Millions graduates.

The next dearest winner was Bradbury’s Luck, who cost $225,000, but he did go through the ring 13 years before Sunlight, when $225,000 bought you a little more than it can today.

No other winner has sold for more than $170,000 and, since Bradbury’s Luck, 10 of the 13 winners cost between $70,000 and $170,000; Mirror Mirror (2005, $120,000), Mimi Lebrock (2007, $170,000), Phelan Ready (2009, $150,000), Military Rose (2010, $155,000), Driefontein (2012, $75,000), Real Surreal (2013, $70,000), Unencumbered (2014, $70,000), Le Chef (2015, $120,000), Capitalist (2016, $165,000), Houtzen (2017, $105,000).

The other winners since 2006 are August Proud, who was passed-in after falling $2500 short of her $50,000 reserve, and Karuta Queen ($30,000).

Third emergency Rome is the dearest horse in this year’s field, a $1,050,000 buy, with Exhilarates and Movie Role – both $600,000 yearlings – Hightail ($520,000), fifth emergency Lubuk ($500,000) and Dubious ($350,000) the others who cost upward of $300,000.

Yes Yes Yes, Czarson and Krameric, who all cost $200,000, and fourth emergency Alburq ($260,000) are the others who realised more than $170,000 as yearlings.

United And Conquer ($80,000), Champagne Boom ($90,000), Sebrakate ($150,000), Courseshewill ($170,000) and Gala Miss ($170,000) are those who sold for between $70,000 and $170,000.

Unite And Conquer and Sebrakate are colts and the boys hold a one-win advantage over the girls – 14 to 13 – since the Classic settled as a mixed event in 1992, although nine of the past 13 editions have been won by the girls.

Unite And Conquer is unbeaten in two starts and is one of nine last-start winners in the race, which has been a common theme shared by most Magic Millions winners with 23 of the past 27 winners having won their previous start, including the past nine.

Of those nine, three had their final lead-up run in the McLachlan Stakes – won this year by Sun City, who is not running on Saturday – but none since Unencumbered.

Three of the past four winners – Capitalist, who came out of the Wyong Classic, being the exception – have rounded out their preparations with victory at the Gold Coast seven days before the Classic.

That was the race Exhilarates won so impressively last Saturday.

The Godolphin filly drew barrier nine, which will become seven if the emergencies don’t run, and 14 of the past 17 winners have started from single-figure barriers.

Two of the three that didn’t came in the past two years, including Houtzen from the outside alley two years ago, which will please fans of Yes Yes Yes (likely 16), Unite And Conquer (14) and Czarson (12).

Those three are all at single-figure odds, along with Dubious and Exhilarates, and while the 2YO Classic can throw up a rough result – a la Phelan Ready ($51), Mirror Mirror ($21) and Le Chef ($16) – blowout results are the exception rather than the rule with seven of the past nine editions going to the favourite, including the three most recent.

The Verdict: We want a last-start winner who cost somewhere between $70,000 and $170,000 that is prominent in betting and will start from a single-figure alley. United And Conquer satisfies all criteria, bar the barrier, but given the past two winners have started from wide gates he gets the nod. If you’re happy to overlook the purchase-price criteria, Exhilarates is hard to ignore having drawn well and she did win the race that has provided three of the past four winners.


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