Monday 4th January 2018 – It was an excited and slightly anxious Maddie Hudson as she bathed and braided her two ex racehorses, Sonny (whom never made it to the races) and Royal (Glonass, previously trained by Gold Coast trainer, Michael Costa) in preparation for the notorious beach gallop at the Magic Millions barrier draw the following day.
“My friend Holly, who organises the ponies for the races, asked me if I’d like my two boys to take part in the event. They’re both quiet and well behaved so I thought I’d give it a shot. Neither of them disappointed, they didn’t put a foot wrong all day!” said Maddie.
At 3.10am sharp the next day, Maddie, along with her two immaculate looking ponies, were picked up from their paddock and driven to the Surfers Paradise Foreshore where the event would take place.
“We got there around 4.30am so the horses could all have a look around the beach. There were 15 horses all up, 12 of which were ex racehorses.” explained Maddie.
The first beach gallop kicked off at 6.15am, shortly followed by a Magic Millions Q&A and then the Queens Baton Relay at 7.15am.
The champion jockeys were introduced to the crowd at 7.45am. The familiar faces and legends of the turf included:
Hugh Bowman- Jockey to Winx and 79 time group 1 winner.
Corey Brown- Two time winning Melbourne Cup jockey.
Tye Angland- 9 group 1 wins to his name, including the recent Spring Champion Stakes on David Payne trained gelding, Ace High.
Brenton Avdulla- 5 group 1 wins at just the age of 26.
Jason Collett- 24% winning strike rate and 538 career wins.
Jamie Kah- Earning over $11,924,460 in prize money at just the age of 22.
Kathy O’Hara- Two time winning group 1 jockey.
Katelyn Mallyon- Winner of the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley in 2017.
Jordan Childs- 324 career wins at just the age of 21.
Winona Costin- Sydney based, female jockey earning $8,917,739 in prize money.
Noel Callow- Notorious for his quick witted interviews and 5 group 1 wins.
“The jockeys (O’Hara and Callow) both loved my horses and didn’t say a bad word about them.” Maddie proudly beamed.
At 8.35am the horses paraded for the third and final time of the morning.
“Both my ponies are 4 year olds, recently off the track. They behaved like champions- I felt like a proud mum!” said Maddie. “The jockeys were so kind to them and looked after them both.”
The barrier draw for the $2million Magic Millions 2yo Classic happened at 9am. The results were:
1. Jonker (3)
2. Ef Troop (18)
3. Quackerjack (19)
4. Legislation (7)
5. Fullazaboot (21) – (2nd in the Magic Millions Race)
6. Crockett (10)
7. Bondi (20)
8. Skyray (8)
9. Meryl (5)
10. Secret Lady (11)
11. Sunlight (15) – (WINS the 2018 Magic Millions Race)
12. Nomothaj (2)
13. Outback Barbie (6) – (3rd in the Magic Millions Race)
14. Anthemoessa (4)
15. Witherspoon (12)
16. Whiskey Shooter (9)
17. Paquirri (17)
18. Terminology (14)
19. Spirit’s Pride (1)
20. Sugar Sizzle (16)
21. Catastrophic (13)
The morning came to a close at around 9am and the smiles on everyone’s faces summed it up. A great event that’s looked forward to every year by all involved, after getting a little more involved this year we are certainly looking forward to the rest of the carnival!
With thanks to Maddie Hudson for all the behind the scenes info and to Ashlea Brennan for allowing us to use her photos.
Words by Kiersten Duke
Photography by Ashelea Brennan
Chief Editor Sharon Lenton