Waller strengthens his Magic Millions Hand

Could Chris Waller’s Magic Millions two-year-old Hand have another ace?

The leading trainer already has the top-two contenders for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic with race favourite Shaquero and Wyong Magic Millions winner She’s All Class up his sleeve.

And he looked to add another trump card when promising colt Ranch Hand produced a scintillating debut at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

Ranch Hand threw his name into Magic Millions calculations with a sensational 3-1/4 length success in the Vinery Stud 2YO Maiden Handicap (1000m).

The performance saw Ranch Hand plummet in TAB.com.au’s market for the Magic Millions from $201 to $26 before garnering further support to sit on the fifth line of betting at $15.

Ranch Hand kicks clear on debut under @mcacajamez for an impressive win at Warwick Farm @cwallerracing pic.twitter.com/JXvCy5qgpG

He would need to run again and finish in the money to make the final field on the Gold Coast on January 16 but Waller confirmed the stable will now weigh up heading towards the Glitter Strip.

“The horses that have raced seven days prior to the Magic Millions look to have a pretty good record,” Waller told Sky Thoroughbred Central.

“We won’t say no but at the same time we won’t ruin his career just to get there so I will talk to the owners and see how the horse pulls up.

“We will make a decision next week.”

A son of Fastnet Rock, Ranch Hand was purchased for $260,000 at the 2020 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale by Tom Magnier with Coolmore among a list of prominent owners still in the colt.

“It looks like they have a handy horse,” Waller said.

“He is still very new, he has still got a lot to learn and I don’t think he will be running over 1000m too many times.

“The way he did it today, he jumped well, held a position and quickened at the right time. And he was dominant to the end.”

James McDonald has partnered some smart colts already, including Acrobat. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Premiership winning jockey James McDonald has also ridden Shaquero and She’s All Class to victories for Waller while also piloting the likes of Acrobat and Enthaar.

He had Ranch Hand ($5) perfectly poised to strike on the leader’s back and ran straight past Peter and Paul Snowden’s runner up Mura Mura ($2.80 fav) with Godolphin’s Honeycreeper ($7.50) in third.

“It was a very nice debut,” McDonald said.

“We always thought a bit of him, he has trialled really well with a bit up his sleeve.

“ He is a bit like the nice Fastnet Rock colts, they fly across the ground really well but they ask for a supreme effort once you put them under pressure.

“Otherwise they just coast through their gears but he is a very impressive horse.”

Originally published asStellar debut: Millions hope plummets from $201-$15

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