A breakneck tempo and inside alley worked in favour of the Chris Waller-trained Shaquero who became the first colt in five years to salute in the Restricted Listed $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast.
The multi-million feature had been dominated the past four years by the fillies, but that changed this Queensland Summer Racing Carnival with last spring’s Group 3 Breeders Plate winning son of Shalaa saluting for the Waller stable.
It was Waller’s first victory in the event and he also prepared the luckless third-placed filly, Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner She’s All Class who drew wide, got caught back but who still made up all the late ground to run third.
Between the two Waller-trained two-year-olds in the placings was the previously unbeaten Toby & Trent Edmonds-trained Better Than Ready colt Alpine Edge who also finished well for second having been well back in the field.
There were a handful of juveniles trying to set the pace in this year’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner ensuring a fast tempo that winning hoop Hugh Bowman was happy to sit off with the eventual winner.
“He really appreciated that (being behind horses) and a nice, hot tempo,” Waller’s stable rep Paul Shailer told Thoroughbred Central post-win.
Bowman waited until the home turn, then made his move aboard $13 shot Shaquero who presented fit third-up after a disaster performance when seventh to Alpine Edge on Boxing Day at Eagle Farm’s Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) before his second to Finance Tycoon at the Gold Coast last weekend.
“He loomed at the right time of the race and showed a really explosive turn of foot,” Shailer added.
Once on the straight, Shaquero charged up the middle and won running away producing a brilliant late burst to return to winning form.
“He’s a classy colt and he’s really athletic. Very happy,” Shailer said of the now very valuable colt.
“He stripped really fit here today and obviously barrier one plays a big part doesn’t it?
“He showed a great turn of foot like a good colt does.”