Star Witness Quinella in $2million MM 3YO Guineas
Star Witness has been enjoying a purple patch in recent weeks and the run of success continued at the Gold Coast on Saturday when his talented sons Aim and Amish Boy filled the quinella in the $2million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m).
It was billed as a match-race between quality fillies Isotope and Away Game but the recently-gelded Aim surprised punters with a brilliant return to form.
Peter and Paul Snowden’s three-year-old, who started as one of the favourites in last year’s 2YO Classic, broke a winning drought that dated back to December 2019 when he stormed over the top of Amish Boy and Away Game, both trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
The race wasn’t without controversy as jockey Ryan Maloney parted ways with Isotope near the 300m. Both horse and rider were cleared of any serious injury.
Paul Snowden said he was delighted to capitalise with a lucrative win for connections after a proposed sale to Hong Kong fell through last year.
“We were pretty confident, I only wanted to get on one horse of ours coming up here and it was him,” Snowden said.
“He just needed to get back on to firm going.
“He probably lost his way a little bit after his two-year-old season but he’s back as a gelding this preparation and it’s good to win one.
“He was sold (to Hong Kong) and the money didn’t come through so it was just play on.”
Snowden said he was glad that he chased jockey James McDonald to ride Aim, who started at $31.
“Mark Guest (jockey manager) owes me a beer, we tried to sell him the ride for James (McDonald) and he said they were going with Forbidden Love,” he said.
“I knew he (McDonald) was going to Byron Bay for 10 days and he wasn’t going to make the weight (54.5kg) so I just waited and I’m glad I did, the rest is history.”
McDonald, who won the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas in 2014 on Sweet Idea, said Aim was aided by a fast speed.
“The speed was on from the start which made it a real testing 1400m but he was strong late,” McDonald said.
“This is my first ride on him, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen him but he gave me a great feel today.”
Now a winner of more than $1.3million in prizemoney, Aim was purchased by China Horse Club and Newgate Bloodstock for $200,000 out of the Newhaven Park draft at the 2019 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
He was bred by B2B Bloodstock and is the second foal and first winner for well bred import Vintage Strike (USA), a winning half-sister by Smart Strike to Group II winners Friesan Fire and Villermont from Aussie Group I winner Bollinger, a daughter of Golden Slipper winner Bint Marscay.
Aim is the 18th stakes-winner for Star Witness and is his third in recent weeks joining Hong Kong based Explosive Witness and Group III Gosford Bell of the Turf stakes winner Threeood.
Star Witness yearlings have sold for up to $250,000 at Magic Millions this week and he has more to come.