A CIARON Maher-trained filly which is the short-priced favourite in the $2 million Magic Millions kept her unbeaten record intact winning the $250,000 McLachlan Stakes at Doomben on Sunday.
Having just her second start, Coolangatta, with top jockey James McDonald in the saddle scored an impressive win over Thelwell and Swiss Exile in the group three contest. She will tackle the two-year-old Magic Millions at the Gold Coast on January 15.
Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, said Coolangatta would derive plenty of benefit out of Sunday's victory.
"Coolangatta will be improved off the back of that run," Maher told The Standard. "She came here pretty fresh. I thought she would need this run before running in the Magic Millions.
"We had kept her fresh after winning the Gimcrack Stakes at her only start at Randwick back in early October. She's a lovely clean-winded filly and that run will have her ready for the Magic Millions.
Maher and Eustace are no strangers to the Magic Millions two-year-old classic. They won the $2 million race with Away Game in 2020. The powerful training combination also won the $200,000 Christmas Stakes with the unbeaten Marabi who defeated stablemate Away Game at Caulfield on Sunday. Marabi has won her five starts.
Maher said the lightly raced mare will now be set for the $750,000 group one Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on February 28.
"Marabi is very quick," he said. "She seems to do it quiet easy. The Oakleigh Plate is the race she'll be set for now. I was very pleased with the performance of Away Game. We'll take her up to the Gold Coast for her next start."
Marabi took her stake earnings to more than $249,000 with her victory in the Christmas Stakes.
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