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Athiri earns Magic Millions start with brilliant Nudgee Stakes win

Mike Hedge

Athiri added to the sparkling form of her latest preparation, making it four wins from her seven starts as a four-year-old in Saturday’s Listed Nudgee Stakes at Eagle Farm in Brisbane.

A filly who showed great promise at two when she won on debut, was placed three times in Stakes races and finished a close fourth in the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes, Athiri has bounced back to form this time in.

Given a faultless ride by Nash Rawiller, the daughter of Lonhro surged through a tight gap at the 200m and sprinted clear to score by a soft 2-1/4 lengths from Boomtown Lass.

Trainer James Cummings had also entered the filly for a race at Randwick on New Year’s Day, but chose to ship her to Brisbane on Wednesday night to give her the chance to qualify for the $1 million Magic Millions Fillies and Mares on one of Australia’s richest race days at the Gold Coast on Saturday, 16 January.

The sister to the multiple Stakes winner Savatiano will now be one of the leading prospects for that race.