Decision time looms for Aqua D’ivina on Magic Millions start

Jockey Jason Collet rides Aqua D'ivina to win at Randwick
Aqua D’ivina has qualified for the Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast but may not start.

Aqua D’ivina has given trainer Matthew Smith and connections plenty to mull over after the filly qualified for the Magic Millions carnival at late notice in style at Randwick.

The three-year-old had to win to be assured of making the field for Saturday’s $2m Magic Millions Guineas and she did so impressively by running down Island Missile in the latter stages of the ATC Owners Benefit Card Handicap (1400m).

Smith and owners Francis and Christine Cook now weigh up whether they head to the Gold Coast and ask the $150,000 Pierro filly to handle a seven day back-up for the first time.

Leading into Randwick, Smith was circumspect about the Magic Millions and he was still coy after Aqua D’ivina ($3.10) scored by half a length.

“It might be a bit soon for her in terms of her preparation, the 1400 up there, tight track mightn’t suit her.

“I’ll have a chat to Francis, he’s up there (on the Gold Coast) trying to find another one. Hopefully we’ll make the right decision.”

Smith acknowledged the short turnaround was a concern.,

“It probably doesn’t suit. She’s a bit light that way and that’s why we’ve had to space her runs,” he said.

Smith said Aqua D’ivina was purchased with April’s Group One ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick in mind and said her finishing burst on Saturday indicated she was on the right track.

“She really dug in, showed she has got a bit of stamina. She’s a filly that’ll hopefully run a mile or mile and a quarter. She’ll be exciting if she does,” he said.

“She’s just getting better and better with a little bit of confidence.”

Island Missile ($4.20) was second, with Barbecue ($7.50) 1-1/4 lengths third.

Aqua D’ivina instigated a quartet of winners for Jason Collett, who also saluted aboard Futooh, Burradoo and Sirens Fury.

Collett returned from suspension at Gosford on Sunday, where he rode a double to kick start a run of eight winners.

“I had a suspension at the start of December and two weeks on top of that added Christmas so I’m just starting to get back into the groove of things,” he said.

“I was probably a bit cautious for the first few meetings to try not to get in any trouble again.”

Collett eclipsed the 3-1/2 winners he recorded at Randwick in December 2015 and rode four winners for the first time since a successful day back home at Dargaville before he moved to Sydney.

The New Zealander stole the limelight from Hugh Bowman’s homecoming though the world’s best jockey did celebrate his return from Japan and Hong Kong with a win aboard the Chris Waller-trained Fortensky.

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