Unencumbered capped a near faultless campaign when he stormed to victory in today’s $2 million Jeep Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast.
Having now won Queensland’s richest event in fine style, Unencumbered will be out to capture the world’s richest juvenile race, the Golden Slipper in April.
Connections of the outstanding juvenile were jumping for joy when the bargain buy raced to a famous win, his fifth in six lifetime starts.
Unencumbered ($3.20 fav) enjoyed a good run under Nathan Berry for most of the race and he chased down Oakleigh Girl ($7) to hit the front and draw clear for a three quarter length win.
Ruby Soho ($17) was another two and three quarter lengths back in third place, while Gai Waterhouse’s Cyclone ($13) was the best of the unplaced bridge in fourth place.
“We will give Unencumbered a break now as he has had six starts,” a delighted trainer Bjorn Baker said. “But we will have to look at the Golden Slipper in April.”
“Attitude. Attitude. That has been the key with Unencumbered. He has just kept getting better and he has been so relaxed about it.”
“Nathan (Berry) is like the horse, he just gets better and better,” Baker added.
Nathan Berry who was riding in the famous race for the first time said he had plenty of restless moments leading into the race.
“I had only a total of five hours sleep on Thursday and Friday nights. I was tossing and turning and I wish I had never done the form,” he said.
“Every horse in the field was going through my head.”
Nathan joins his brother Tommy who already has his name on the Classic honour roll after wins aboard Karuta Queen and Driefontein.
“Tom said to me to ride it like it was a $2,000 race.”
“To be honest he got me through this today. I was very nervous and the words I had with him really did the trick.”
“We’re not just brothers, we’re best mates,” Berry added.
Berry predicted more riches were within reach for Unencumbered following his latest win.
“I’m telling you, we haven’t seen the best of this horse yet,” he noted.
Purchased by Bjorn Baker for $70,000 at the 2013 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Unencumbered has already turned into an incredible money spinner for connections.
Runner-up Oakleigh Girl pocketed a cool $325,000 on top of her second prizemoney purse when she won the Magic Millions Racing Women Bonus.
Also collecting with that unique incentive were the all female connections of Ruby Soho ($100,000), Sagatona ($50,000) and Pinch River ($25,000).
The winner Unencumbered is a graduate of Newhaven Park, the same farm which sold yesterday’s $1 million Redoute’s Choice-Hades colt at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Today’s $2 million race winner is a son of Vinery Stud sire Testa Rossa, a winner of the Magic Millions Classic himself in 1999.
He is from the stakes winning More Than Ready mare Blizzardly, a winner of three races, including two at two, headlined by the Keith Mackay Handicap at listed level.
Testa Rossa became the second Classic winner to sire a winner of Queensland’s richest race, following on from General Nediym who has sired two winners of the race in Regimental Gal and Military Rose.