Magic Chai is likely to be set for a feature two-mile double after his stout staying performance to win Saturday’s Group 3 Wellington Cup (3200m) at Trentham.
His victory in the Wallaceville Estate-sponsored feature came at his open class debut and the five-year-old now has a Group 1 contest on his autumn programme.
“We’ll get him home and see how he is and if his form holds up then the Auckland Cup is an obvious target,” trainer Tony Pike said.
“He’s only had 18 starts so he’s still pretty much untapped. He’s a good, genuine stayer.”
The son of Magic Albert settled among the tailenders before picking up ground 800m from home.
“When they all took off a long way from home it played into his hands,” Pike said.
Magic Chai came with an irresistible finish to swamp his rivals in the closing 150m with a gallant Sampson, Alinko Prince and the topweight Patrick Erin the next three home.
The chestnut five-year-old is raced by Lyndhurst Farm principals Mark and Shelley Treweek and gave them a result to boost spirits ahead of New Zealand Bloodstock’s Yearling Sale series.
The Cambridge couple will be offering a 13-strong draft during the Book 1 sale at Karaka, which opens on January 28.
“It’s fantastic for Mark and Shelley,” Pike said. “Mark trained the horse for his first few starts and I got him about 18 months ago. He’s kept improving and got stronger.”
Magic Chai was ridden by Michael McNab, who said he was confident as soon as the pace of the race increased.
“We got back on a really slow tempo and when they cranked it up I got a lovely drag into it.
“He was travelling well near the turn and the more I asked of him the more I got. He was really strong at the line, it’s a big buzz.”