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Exhilarates the leading prospect in A$2m Magic Millions feature

Mike Hedge

Reliability, class, an ideal preparation and a perfect gate have Godolphin filly Exhilarates exactly where trainer James Cummings wants her ahead of the A$2m Listed Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic on Queensland, Gold Coast on Saturday, 12 January.

Exhilarates exhibited great promise in her first three starts and lived up to it at the Gold Coast last weekend when she overpowered a handy field to win comfortably.

“The run she got last start was the best she’s had in a race so far and it was also her best performance,” Cummings said.

“On the strength of her last two runs I think we can rely on her to run well again.”

On a card that offers the second-highest total prizemoney in Australian racing, Exhilarates (Kerrin McEvoy) heads a three-horse Godolphin team that also includes the evergreen stayer Tally in the A$970,000 Magic Millions Trophy and Manicure in the A$970,000 Magic Millions Fillies and Mares.

“I think they’ll all be competitive,” Cummings said.

“I was delighted with the way that all of them worked on Tuesday and we’re really looking forward to seeing them run.”

While Exhilarates comes into Queensland’s most valuable juvenile race off a break of only seven days, Cummings is satisfied the short break won’t harm her chances. 

“She had to win last Saturday to be sure of a start, but even if she hadn’t need to, she would still have run,” he said.

“She needed it not only for the benefit of her fitness, but she got the added advantage of having a look at the track.”

Exhilarates initially became eligible for entry into the Two-Year-Old Classic as a yearling who passed through last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast sale.

“Buying a yearling and having it turn out as she has is not easy to do, particularly when you appreciate that 3,000 yearlings were sold by Magic Millions sales last year,” Cummings said.

“We’re setting out to broaden our horizons and diversify our bloodstock and we’ve been able to secure a filly like her and consolidate her value.”

Tally comes to Saturday’s ungraded, but high-value, race as a “wild card” having won a qualifying race at Doomben at his latest outing.

Although he must concede at least six kilos to every other runner, Cummings believes he is a leading prospect. 

“I think he’s quite well-placed and I think he’s got one run left in the tank,” he said.

Manicure also qualified at Doomben and is among the leading prospects in a similarly ungraded fillies and mares event.