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By Jack Petley | Saturday, January 16, 2021

Chris Waller holds a strong hand in the $2m Magic Millions 2yold Classic today with three runners with the best fancied the filly She's All Class, the mount of Kiwi James McDonald. And by the manner in which the filly won last time out and her work meantime makes her the one to beat.

The other two for Waller are Shaquero and Ranch Hand, who made the field yesterday after the withdrawal of Fake Love and with Glen Boss gaining the mount.

I feel Shaquero could be the upset runner. I did like his second the other day after having a dual up front for most of the way with Rambeau. That colt dropped away but Shaquero kept on gamely and went down narrowly to Finance Tycoon, who had the last run. I gather the Waller colt has thrived since then.

There is certain to be much speed up front with the Bott-Waterhouse flying filly Swift Witness likely to go ahead even from her wide draw. That could set it up for Shaquero (Bowman), from his inside gate he should take up a very good possie. So even though Swift Witness is firming to a warm favourite at $3.90 and She’s All Class, solid at $4.40, I'm going to take the $10 about Shaquero. Fingers crossed.

It will be a great day of racing at the Coast today, looking forward to the clash of Isotope and Away Game in Race 7, but I do see solid support in the last 24 hours for the Freedman Bros runner, Forbidden Love, so put in trifectas.

Athiri and Nash Rawiller look a top bet in Race 5 and I favour Skiddaw over Ballistic Boy in Race 3 and Jonker over Roheryn in Race 4.

I did like that win last week by the Bott-Waterhouse trained Yao Dash and the speedster fronts up in Race 8 and will be tough to beat … main rivals, Eleven Eleven and Yao Dash's stablemate Discharged.

There will be some top racing at Trentham today with the feature being the Gr1 Telegraph Handicap. Hot, hot favourite for the big sprint is the Te Akau mare Avantage at a solid $1.70 in the market. She won the Railway last time when coming off a break so she will be fitter for this and is the one to beat. Little Tavi Mac ($4.6), who has a cult following in Kiwiland, will offer tough opposition and Enzo's Lad ($12)for odds.

Te Akau also have the brilliant Brando in another feature the Gr1 Levin Classic and the three-year-old goes into the race with three wins and a second from four for Te Akau. "His work this week has been excellent," said Jamie Richards of the $1.80 warm favourite. His main rivals, Whimsical ($5) and Bonham, the mount of in-form Lisa Allpress at $10. Bonham has tasted a loss only once in four runs for the Benner-Wynyard stable and Johnno Benner is confident of a "big run" from the three-year-old with the stable. Bonham won well last week for Allpress and Benner said the Per Incanto filly had come on the right way since. "She pulled up sensationally well," he commented.

The Wellesley Stakes for 2yolds has drawn a strong field with the favourite and the one to beat, Quattrto Quinta ($2.20).

Chris Waller has many of his stars out to trial at Rosehill yesterday including Nature Strip,. Hungry Heart, Kolding and Verry Elleegant. In fact, he had the ten runners in one heat and that was taken out by Hungry Heart who edged out a hard held Nature Strip. September Run, the Coolmore Stakes winner, had an easy trial for Jason Collett and the NZ bred mare Verry Elleegant was allowed to stride along under her own steam.

Team Hawkes also had a strong team out and smart colt Ole Kirk ran fourth in his trial, under a hard hold from Tommy Berry in a heat taken out by stablemate Greyworm. Stablemate Masked Crusade won his trial and North Pacific went around easily in 6th spot.

I see that Te Akau have added perhaps another two youngsters to their $1m Karaka MIllion for two-year-olds at Ellerslie later this month with Millefiori (first) and Sneaky Shark (3rd) in a two-year-old race at Tauranga yesterday. The winner now sits in seventh spot for the big race while Sneaky Shark is at number 12 and likely to make the field.

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