The Magic Millions Classic may not be a Group 1 event, but with $2 million in prizemoney it is still one of the most sought-after and prestigious events on the Australian racing calendar.
A number of Magic Millions Classic winners have gone on to win actual Group 1 races – Capitalist completed the Magic Millions Classic/Golden Slipper Double in 2016 – but it is fair to say that there have been just as many flops coming out of the race.
We have analysed the past 16 winners of the Magic Millions Classic and below you can find the incredibly varied career trajectories of these gallopers.
2004 – Dance Hero
Dance Hero beat future star stallion Not A Single Doubt to win the 2004 Magic Millions Classic and he went on to stamp himself as one of the best two-year-olds in history.
He took out the Skyline Stakes in his return to Sydney and went on to capture the Golden Slipper, Sires Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes to become just the fifth horse in history to complete the Two-Year-Old Triple Crown.
Dance Hero won the Royal Sovereign Stakes and the Canterbury Stakes as a three-year-old before he finally claimed another Group 1 win when he beat Miss Andretti to win the Salinger Stakes during the 2006 Spring Racing Carnival.
He was retired after he finished at the tail of the field in the 2008 Newmarket Handicap and he continues to enjoy a quiet retirement.
2005 – Bradbury’s Luck
Bradbury’s Luck did not win another race after taking out the Magic Millions Classic and he was retired to stand at stud after he failed to fire in the 2005 edition of the San Domenico Stakes.
He started his stallion career at Glenlogan Stud in Queensland and sired over 180 individual winners before he was transferred to Yarradale Stud in Western Australia last year.
His most successful progeny is clearly former Perth star Luckygray, who won both the Railway Stakes (twice) and Kingston Town Classic during his racing career.
2006 – Mirror Mirror
Mirror Mirror only had one more race start following her Magic Millions Classic win and she was retired following her flat effort in the 2006 Reisling Stakes to begin life as a broodmare.
One of her progeny, No Looking Back lost the Magic Millions Classic on protest before finishing second behind Samaready in the Blue Diamond Stakes, while her latest progeny to race Chauffeur took part in the 2017 Magic Millions Classic.
2007 – Mimi Lebrock
Mimi Lebrock never broke through for a Group 1 victory following her Magic Millions Classic win, but she ran some cracking races at the highest level.
She won the Sheraco Stakes, Let’s Elope Stakes and Tristarc Stakes in 2008 and finished third in both the Myer Classic and the Emirates Stakes.
Mimi Lebrock was retired at the end of that campaign and was sold for over $1 million at the 2001 Inglis Australian Easter Broodmare Sale.
2008 – Augusta Proud
August Proud started her racing career with six straight victories and did not reach that level as an older horse, but still put together a nice record in South Australia.
She won the 2009 Dermody Stakes and 2010 Irwin Stakes before she was retired at the end of her autumn campaign in 2011.
Last year she tasted her first success as a broodmare when Thyme For Roses won the Breeders Stakes at Flemington earlier this year.
2009 – Phelan Ready
Phelan Ready is one of the most popular horses that have come out of Queensland in recent years.
He beat a star-studded field to win the 2009 Golden Slipper and looked like a star in the making, but he had over 40 more starts before he was finally able to record another race win.
Phelan Ready claimed his fourth career win at Doomben in 2015 and he was retired after he failed to fire at the Sunshine Coast in 2016.
2010 – Military Rose
Military Rose made it four wins from as many starts when she took out the Magic Millions Classic and added another victory to her resume when she took out the Reisling Stakes.
She failed to fire in the 2010 Golden Slipper and she recorded only one more race win when she took out the 2011 Gold Coast Guineas.
Military Rose was retired from racing following her flop in the 2011 QTC Cup and she has not had a great deal of success as a broodmare.
2011 – Karuta Queen
The pocket rocket Karuta Queen recorded a dominant victory in the 2011 Magic Millions Classic, but backing that form up as an older horse was always going to be tough.
She won the Heritage Stakes and the Australia Stakes as a three-year-old, but she was never able to win another race.
Her best performance at Group 1 level came in 2013 when she chased the great mare Black Caviar home in the William Reid Stakes.
2012 – Driefontein
Driefontein controversially won the Magic Millions Classic in 2012 on protest and she went on to have plenty of races for a mare.
She failed to win a race as a three-year-old, but as an older mare she went on to take out the Sheraco Stakes, Magic Millions Fillies & Mares and the Irwin Stakes before she claimed a maiden Group 1 victory in the 2014 Robert Sangster Classic.
Driefontein was retired after she finished at the tail of the field in the 2015 Newmarket Handicap and has started a career as a broodmare.
2013 – Real Surreal
Real Surreal won the 2013 Magic Millions Classic and was not seen at the races for another 12 months.
She looked to be heading in the right direction when she finished a close second in the Surround Stakes, but she failed to fire after starting as one of the favourites in the Coolmore Classic.
Real Surreal returned to original trainer Kelso Wood to win the Gai Waterhouse Classic and she was retired in 2016 before she went for $800,000 at the Magic Millions National Broodmare.
2014 – Unencumbered
Unencumbered delivered Bjorn Baker and Nathan Berry the biggest wins of their respective careers, but he failed to win another race.
He was beaten by Ghibellines in the 2014 Todman Stakes and connections made the interesting decision to retire him to stud at the end of his two-year-old campaign.
Unencumbered stood at Three Bridges Thoroughbreds in New South Wales and his progeny have had a great deal of success, but he sadly passed away due to post-surgery complications in 2018.
2015 – Le Chef
Le Chef delivered his owners a fairy-tale victory in the 2015 Magic Millions Classic but never really went on with the job.
He finished racing in 2019 after a failed trip out west to Birdsville with nine wins from 30 career starts.
2016 – Capitalist
Capitalist was the shortest-priced favourite in the history of the Magic Millions Classic and he justified the short price to canter home in the race.
He suffered a shock defeat when he was beaten by Kiss And Make Up in the Todman Stakes, but be bounced back to win the Golden Slipper two weeks later.
His three-year-old campaign got off to a poor start in the San Domenico Stakes and he finished third in the Roman Consul Stakes before a stone bruise ended his 2016 Spring Racing Carnival.
He was then retired to stud and he currently stands at Newgate Farm for a fee of $44,000.
2017 – Houtzen
Houtzen went on to be quite a successful race mare after winning the Magic Millions Classic.
She mixed her form at stages, however she won three black type races and went close in a couple of quality races including the 2017 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes.
She won seven of her 18 race starts and accumulated over $2 million in prize money.
2018 – Sunlight
Sunlight was bought at the 2017 Magic Millions sales for $300,000 and was bred to be a star sprinter.
She is by boom sire Zoustar out of Solar Charged, who won two Group 3’s as a racehorse.
She went on to win 11 of her 24 starts and has certainly bucked the trend of horses for the most part on this list.
She was as consistent as they come and she retired a three-time Group 1 winner, finishing with over $6.5 million in prize money. She showed her versatility when she ran second in the inaugural Golden Eagle over 1500m.
2019 – Exhilarates
Godolphin bought this Snitzel filly for $600,000 at the 2018 Magic Millions Sales and she repaid the faith by taking out the Classic in 2019.
She has won five of her 19 race starts to date and has pocketed Godolphin just over $2.1 million in prize money. This included the Group 3 Quezette Stakes at Caulfield.
She just missed in the Magic Millions Guineas in 2020 when finishing second to Eleven Eleven and she is back again this year for the sprint.
2020 – Away Game
A Snitzel filly won the Classic for the second year in a row when Away Game took out the riches in 2020.
The exciting filly was purchased for $425,000 at the 2019 Magic Millions sales.
After her win on the Gold Coast she got within 1.3 lengths of Tagaloa in the Blue Diamond and then finished second in the Golden Slipper behind Farnan.
She is looking to become the first horse to win the Magic Millions Classic/Guineas double when she races on Saturday.
She is currently rated a $3.90 chance.