Punt Drunk: How’s your Magic Millions hangover?

The Hangover

Gee whiz, talk about a punt-induced hangover! We are coming to you on this Monday on the back of yet another Gold Coast Magic Millions week. Despite the scorching hot weather, a tsunami scare on Saturday night and the possibility of getting the ‘Rona, it didn’t stop thousands of racegoers descending on Surfers Paradise. Queensland’s glamour couple, Ben Thompson and Steph Thornton, celebrated their engagement, the southerners dominated Millions Day as the rich got richer, while a good old-fashioned social media scam sent Racing Twitter into meltdown.


In case you weren’t aware, Brisbane-based jockeys Ben Thompson and Stephanie Thornton have been all loved up for a little while now. The couple are regularly seen walking the track together prior to race one on any given race day, while their competitiveness sees them often run first and second throughout the day at Queensland race meets. After a day of riding on the Gold Coast on Saturday, young Ben popped the question and Steph said ‘yes’. The pair took to social media – what else do they do these days? – to announce the news on Saturday night, which saw much of the racing fraternity go into meltdown. Here’s to many more quinellas for the duo!


We had hoped to see some of the smaller stables jag a win or two on one of Australia’s richest race days, but it wasn’t to be. After the running of nine races at the Gold Coast on Saturday, it seemed blatantly obvious that the rich got richer, and well, the poor did their thing. Peter & Paul Snowden snagged a winning double, as did Ciaron Maher & David Eustace, while Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, Chris Waller, Annabel Neasham, Tony Gollan and Gregory Hickman won the rest of the card. We think it’s far to say that they are some of the biggest names in Australian racing, with the exception maybe of Hickman. In saying that, Hickman’s winning galloper, Eleven Eleven, made it three straight Magic Millions Day triumphs, taking his prizemoney to almost $3 million. So much for keeping the money in Queensland!


Sometimes when things seem too good to be true, they probably are. Since Coolangatta’s debut win a couple of months ago, you would have been hard pressed to find odds of $2 or greater with any of the seemingly hundreds of online bookmakers out there, so when a notoriously dodgy bloke on Twitter offers you $6, it probably isn’t legit. Now, while it may seem blatantly obvious to you or I, a number of punters fell for the trap, paying thousands of dollars to @HorseRacingGL. As we all saw, Coolangatta saluted as a $1.70 favourite in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on Saturday, and of course, the scammer has disappeared off the face of social media, along with his business partners. We hate to see stuff like this, but gee, it’s good to see Racing Twitter unite to bring this low-life to justice.

Punt Drunk

About Punt Drunk

Welcome to Punt Drunk – our daily column covering all the latest horse racing and punting controversies, dramas and headline news. Have a story or gripe or issue that just grinds your gears? Just hit us up in the comments or contact us page and our jaded, punt hardened Punt Drunk staff will give it the Punt Drunk treatment it deserves. Don’t expect pleasantries or typical racing media fanboy gloss from Punt Drunk – we’re on the punt and we don’t have time to bullshit; the next is about to jump…

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