Champagne Jet is Magic Millions-bound after toppling highly rated stablemate Betaima at the Sunshine Coast.
Trainer Toby Edmonds is hoping the $42,700 first prize money on Saturday will be enough to secure a start in the $2 million Magic 2YO Millions (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 12 for Champagne Jet.
“That should nearly get her into the Millions so we can do what we want with her now. We don’t have to run her again if we don’t need to,” Edmonds said.
As well as the standard first prize money cheque, Champagne Jet ($21) earned her connections an additional $42,000 in QTIS bonuses, a windfall return on her yearling purchase price of $22,000.
While there was a gulf between Champagne Jet ($21) and the favourite Betaima ($1.75) in betting, Edmonds said the fillies were evenly matched in ability.
“To be truthful there’s been zero between them on the track. It was just that Betaima had the race experience and we thought that might get her over the line today,” he said.
“They’re both good fillies with plenty of upside.”
Jockey Ryan Maloney tracked Betaima aboard Champagne Jet before launching her challenge in the straight, scoring by a short head.
“Although she got a bit lost today she’s naturally very athletic and covers the ground really nicely,” Maloney said.
The Liam Birchley-trained Lady Brahmos ($41), another Millions prospect, produced an eye-catching debut with a fast-finishing third a neck away.
Betaima and Lady Brahmos will need to earn more prize money between now and the Millions to be guaranteed starts.
Jeff Lloyd was runner-up aboard Betaima but combined with Edmonds to win the following race with Coastal Prince ($5) by a nose from Lope For Joya ($13) in a deceptive finish.
A Man To Match, backed from $4.60 into $3.20 favouritism, was a desperately unlucky third a neck away after being badly blocked at the 300-metre mark before charging home.
Coastal Prince’s win kicked off the Eagle Way Stayers Series for three-year-olds.
“I’m not sure how far we’ll go with him during the series because he’s been up awhile but he’ll let us know when it’s time for a break,” Edmonds said.