When it comes to feature races, Damien Lane would like nothing more than to see his colt Bare To Witness ($61 on TAB) win Wednesday’s 2YO Magic Millions Classic on his home track.
Lane came close to taking out the $200,000 feature last year with Wealthy Investor, who rocketed home in the final stages to finish third, beaten by a long neck.
He has taken a similar path with Bare To Witness, giving him a trial, then a Metropolitan start in the lead up to the Wyong Magic Millions.
The 20th running of the 2YO Classic has attracted a strong field of 12, with many of the top Sydney stables represented.
Lane is confident his $50k yearling by Star Witness has the ability to match it with some of the more fancied runners, provided he gets the right run in the race.
“I would have preferred to have drawn a little closer, but he has definitely come on since his Sydney run, he’ll just have to be a bit sharper early,” Lane said.
Bare To Witness couldn’t muster early speed in his only start at Rosehill over the 1100m on November 22 but made up plenty of ground in the final stages to finish fifth.
“He can’t afford to do that at Wyong, but he’s definitely improved since that run.
“Kerrin McEvoy will ride him, and he got a sit on him in an exhibition gallop at Wyong last week. It was a nice piece of work.
“I think he has similar ability to Wealthy Investor but might be a bit new, that could be his only downfall.”
Bare To Witness has some classy opposition to overcome, with $1.2m Exceed And Excel yearling Mach Ten ($3.10 favourite) resuming in the race.
Michael Freedman’s colt looked impressive winning a trial at Canterbury on November 29, after finishing third in the Group 3 Breeders’ Plate at Randwick in October.
Gai Waterhouse has dominated the race with five victories and the Waterhouse/Bott stable look to have another strong contender with Summer Loving ($3.30), who will get every favour from barrier 1.
They have a big opinion of the $425,000 Exceed And Excel filly, who finished third in Golden Gift at Rosehill in November after being sent out favourite, and looked smart in her recent Canterbury trial.
Another local Tracey Bartley believes his mare Compassionate ($26) is primed to go one better than her second in last year’s $100,000 3YO & 4YO Stakes.
The Into Mischief mare was narrowly beaten by Annabel Neasham’s Wisdom Of Water, having been caught wide throughout from an outside barrier. She has had better luck this year starting from three and will be ridden by Kathy O’Hara.
“She’s right at the top of her game and there’s nothing stopping her winning,” Bartley said. “I’ve set her for this race. She had a track gallop last week and I’m really happy with her.”
Mark Newnham’s Sneaky Paige ($4.60) will be one of the hardest to beat, the Deep Field mare has four wins to her name, including a Wyong victory, and was placed third at Listed level at Flemington on October 29.
The club hosts a seven-race card on Wednesday, the first getting underway at 1.45pm.
Bare to Witness (Kerrin McEvoy; black & pink) gallops with one of Tracey Bartley’s horses (Josh Parr) in a recent track gallop at Wyong.
Locals Primed For Wyong Magic Millions Feature
By Frances O’Shea
Image by Steve Hart Photographics

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