consistency was finally rewarded in the Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes as Magic Wand
sealed a first top-level success at the 16th attempt, writes Jack Haynes.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained four-year-old arrived in Australia with six Group 1 seconds but returns to Ireland with that all-important breakthrough victory and stays in training next year.
Magic Wand returned to Flemington just four days after her tenth in the Melbourne Cup and ran out a convincing winner of the A$2m (£1.07m/€1.24m) contest under Ryan Moore.
Moore said: “She’s a fabulous filly and been in top company all her life. She ran a great race in the Cox Plate then it went against her in the Melbourne Cup, but to back up a few days later to win here is great.
“She showed her best quality and it’s very typical of her stallion Galileo as his progeny are very genuine and hard to beat.
“She needs fast ground and had terrible luck with the rain following her. Everything was right for her today.”
It was a 84th individual top-level winner for sire Galileo, equalling the record set by his former studmate Danehill, and O’Brien’s travelling head lad TJ Comerford felt better ground was crucial to her chances.
Comerford said: “It was the best ground she’s raced on since she’s been over here and a decent surface is key to her. The Melbourne Cup was a good piece of work for this!
“She takes tough races so well. She ate up everything and we nominated her for this the following morning after the Melbourne Cup – she was telling us she was ready to run. She’s going to stay in training next year and might come back to Australia again.”
One of the most popular horses in Australia bowed out in typically honest fashion in the same race with Godolphin flagbearer Hartnell finishing a gallant third.
It was the eight-year-old’s 34th start in top-level company and 58th run. He is set to take in show classes in his post-racing career and will be looked after by his groom Reg Fleming.
Hartnell started his career with Mark Johnston, for whom he won the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot five years ago, before contesting many high-profile races for John O’Shea then Cummings for the last three seasons. He retires as a four-time Group 1 winner
and twice finished second to star mare Winx in top company.
Cummings said: “It was a fitting send off and he performed so well. He’s a beautiful horse and I’m pleased to see him pull up well.
“He’s going to be missed so much and he’s been fantastic for the early stage of my career. He’s special and been the captain of our racing squad for the last few years.”