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Barnato claims 2YO Magic Millions Cash Luck Stakes in style
Jonathan Wong

Gangly newcomer Barnato displayed a fine turn of foot as he produced a battling performance to take home the $90,000 Magic Millions Cash Luck Stakes over 1000m on the Polytrack on Sunday.


Making his Kranji debut in the sponsored race for two-year-olds, the Australian-bred galloper had too much in the tank to beat Kiwi Karma (Rueven Ravindra) by three-quarter length with Racer King (Danny Beasley) the same margin away in third.


Barnato, with jockey Vagner Leal aboard, also picked up a $30,000 bonus for his success as he was sired in Australia and purchased at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Barnato (Vagner Leal) finishes the best to take out the first two-year-old race of the season.

“He had a good jump and got into a nice position very quickly and when you ride on a good horse like this, it’s very easy,” said the Brazilian rider, whose delight at bagging his seventh victory of the season was clearly evident as he lovingly patted his triumphant mount on the head after crossing the line.


“There’s a lot of speed in this horse and he felt quite confident before the start. He’s a nice horse and has a lot of potential.”


Winning trainer Patrick Shaw was also pleased with the inaugural start of his bay gelding on the all-weather surface.


“I felt the 1000m would be a bit sharp for him as a first-up race but he showed us some form at the recent trials,” said the South African conditioner.


While Barnato’s winning time of 1min 0.53secs was some way off the Polytrack record of 57.76secs set by Northern Lion in 2011, a career as a sprinter has never been on the cards, noted Shaw.


“I can’t complain about the time. He pulled off the win and I’m delighted with that,” he said. “You’re right he doesn’t look like a 1000m horse and we will send him out further, possibly the mile.”


After a smart start from barrier seven, Barnato took up a handy position two wide of I’m Kool (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) and $20 favourite Racer King who settled next to the fence as the trio set off on a quick clip in the early goings.


Barnato quickly fell off the brisk pace and dropped back into the chasing pack alongside Stock Broker (John Powell) as the two leaders went at it hammer and tongs around the final bend.


While Stock Broker and I’m Kool would eventually hit the wall at the business end of the race and finished sixth and eighth respectively, it was left to Barnato ($23) to take up the challenge and upon Leal’s urgings, he kicked up a gear and drew level at the 200m with Racer King desperately, and ultimately unsuccessfully, clinging on to the lead.


Instead, it was the fast-closing Kiwi Karma, who had beaten Barnato in the barrier trials two weeks ago, threatening to repeat that feat but the late charge arrived too late as the winning post came to Barnato’s rescue.


Barnato, the son of Redoute’s Choice out of Glimmers, was purchased for A$300,000 by Nordic Racing & Breeding and is a three-quarter-brother to top Australian sprinting filly Gold Edition. With his maiden victory, he has already chalked up around $50,000 in stakes earnings for the Saffa Stable.