Gary Portelli’s exciting sprinter Straturbo will be sent to the paddock ahead of the autumn after winning his Grand Final spring – summer assignment in Saturday’s Magic Millions Open Sprint 2015 on the Gold Coast.
The Stratum gelding jumped as a $7 shot in the handicap clash but thanks to a gun ride from James McDonald was able to beat home the back-in-form Happy Galaxy ($9) by a half-length with the Liam Birchley-trained favourite Missy Longstocking ($2.80) running a brave third in the $176,000 Myer Magic Millions Open Sprint (1100m).
A well-travelled five-year-old, Straturbo has travelled across three states in the past six months running in Sydney, Melbourne and now at the Magic Millions Carnival in the Sunshine State.
Coming off a seventh down the Flemington straight from December 20, Straturbo wasn’t the pick of the yard on Saturday sweating up pre-race.
On track however he was ridden patiently in the sprint showdown before sweeping from out wide to win a race his Sydney-based trainer Portelli has been targeting for some time.
“I love it when a plan comes together,” Portelli said after the victory.
“We targeted this race a long time ago I thought it might have been a race he could be competitive in.”
It continued a great start to the day for McDonald who won the opening race with Elle Lou in the Magic Millions Maiden Plate, ran second with Our Boy Nicholas in the MM Stayers Cup and then his Open Sprint success.
In a speedily run race the Kelso Wood-trained Seeking More set the pace while Missy Longstocking was struggling to get through, driving up along the fence on the straight.
The late runs then came over the final 300m including Straturbo who had been over-racing throughout travelling too hard until he poked through for the win.
“We were wide early but after they sorted themselves out there was a line of four, I was just behind that,” McDonald said of the winning ride.
“A good effort.
“The field was very even and he saluted.
“They’re running quick times for sure.”
Happy Galaxy put in an enormous run for second while Missy Longstocking was also far from disgraced finishing off well after finally getting into the clear after getting caught up in the traffic jam at the top fo the straight.
The lucrative prize money was what lured Portelli, happy to win for connections at Elite Thoroughbreds, and he had his eye more after snaring up a few more horses this Magic Millions Sales season.
“Today was the Grand Final,” he said, saying Stratrubo would be sent for a break before autumn plans were discussed.
“This is a big win for him he’s won $120,000 in prize money. Now most of the races in Sydney are worth only $50,000 to the winner and he’d be struggling to win those.”
Straturbo was a smart buy for $40,000 as a yearling and Portelli said having an eye for a horse at the sales was a great way to snap up a bargain capable of good Magic Millions success during the carnival in Queensland.
“This little fella we thought we stole him (for the price) and we went and bought his brother the next year and he was (subsequent Group 3 winner) I’m All The Talk who was only a $50,000 horse,” he said.
See below for the full Magic Millions Open Sprint 2015 results and finishing order.
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2015 Magic Millions Open Sprint Results
Gold Cost Racecourse – Saturday January 10, 2015
|1||9||STRATURBO||Gary Portelli||James McDonald||–||11||54kg||$7|
|2||3||HAPPY GALAXY||Gary Moore||Damien Oliver||0.4L||12||56kg||$9|
|3||5||MISSY LONGSTOCKING||Liam Birchley||Glen Colless||0.6L||9||54kg||$2.80F|
|4||4||SEEKING MORE||Kelso Wood||Michael Cahill||0.8L||1||54.5kg||$6.50|
|5||1||EXCELLANTES||Robert Heathcote||Christian Reith||1.8L||5||58.5kg||$8|
|6||12||FLORIDA FELLOW||Bryan Guy||Brenton Avdulla||2.6L||2||54kg||$61|
|7||8||PICKABEE||Caitlin Lavin||Timothy Bell||3.1L||8||54kg||$13|
|8||10||LENNIE’S CHOICE||Kelly Schweida||Chris Munce||4.9L||3||54kg||$51|
|9||7||PLATINUM STATE||Bryan Guy||Tommy Berry||5.9L||7||54kg||$12|
|10||13e||CELESTIAL DRAGON||Stuart Kendrick||Daniel Griffin||6.9L||4||54kg||$17|
|11||11||STATE OF WEALTH||Graham Pollock||Eddie Wilkinson||8.7L||10||54kg||$31|
|12||6||MISS MEGA HERZ||Patrick Sexton||Shannon Apthorpe||17.5L||6||54kg||$41|
|–||14e||SEPT DE COEURS||Stuart Kendrick||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||2||WHITTINGTON||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||–||0||–||–|