Highness reigns in Magic Magic 2024 lead-up

Regally bred colt Highness might be laidback in nature, but there was nothing relaxed about his finishing burst as he overhauled short-priced favourite Spywire to win the Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic.

Quick out of the gates, the horse relaxed almost two well for Tommy Berry mid-race then needed a stern reminder of his task as favourite Spywire accelerated clear off the bend.

The latter looked to have the race in his keeping before Highness ($4.40) sprouted wings over the final 70m to mow down Spywire ($2.05 fav) by a half-length with Toque ($3.10) another 4-3/4 lengths away third.

Winning trainer Michael Freedman admitted to some anxious moments during the race but said the $900,000 Gold Coast purchase, a son of Snitzel out of a half-sister to stallion Dissident, showed his quality at the finish.

“At the top of the straight, I was a little bit worried how disinterested he was. Tommy had to give him a whack around the backside just to wake him up,” Freedman told Sky Racing.

“I think he’s got a really good future. I loved his run in the Breeders’ Plate where he didn’t have a great deal of luck early in the spring.

“We’ve got a ticket to the Gold Coast now, so fingers crossed he holds together.

“They ran very good time, which is always a good indication with two-year-olds. Even though it was a small field, you might find it was a pretty good race here.”

Freedman said Highness was unlikely to have another run before the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on January 13, for which he firmed from $26 into $8 after Wednesday’s performance.

Berry was glowing in his praise and said he always felt like he was on the winner.

The top jockey expects Highness to be much better suited by the wider expanses of the Gold Coast track, and the usually strong tempo of a Magic Millions.

“I think that Gold Coast straight is going to suit him a little bit better up at the Magic Millions, it’s going to be awesome,” Berry said.

“That will switch him on a little bit. I was a bit worried going to the gates on how laidback he was. He was the same in the run.

“He’s going to have to be a bit more switched on in the Magic Millions up in Queensland, it’s a bigger field, more tempo, but I’m sure when he’s getting picked up and pushed around around that tight track there, he will wake up.”

Capitalist, who like Highness is raced by James Harron Bloodstock, was the last horse to claim the Wyong and Gold Coast Magic Millions double in 2015-16.

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