With Christmas fast approaching Wyong’s Denim Wynen would love to celebrate with a home track win or two. 

The young trainer, and mother to two, has three good chances heading into the club’s Saturday meeting.

“I’m probably most excited to see Emphatic Bel back at the track,” Wynen said. 

“She had an operation to remove chips from her knees after her Wyong win in June and she seems to have come back a lot stronger.”

The Belardo mare starts in the Class 1over 1000m, coming off an impressive trial at Wyong on December 15. She blitzed her opposition by more than five lengths in good time. 

“I expected her to trial well but not as well as she did and against pretty good opposition. She’s a funny sort of horse and see’s ghosts when she’s working on her own, shying at nothing.

“Put her with a mate or in a race and she really gets her mind on the job.”

Wynen said she would step Emphatic Bel up to 1350m this preparation. 

“When she was with David Payne, they were trying to get her to stay but she likes to go forward, and I think she’s more of a sprinter. 

“She has a high cruising speed but if we can get her to settle, she will hopefully run up to 1350m. 

“Anna Roper has been riding her work and she will ride her on Saturday.”

Roper is also aboard Obvious Step, raced by the same ownership group. 

The six-year-old daughter of Sidestep drops back in grade, lining up in the 1600m Provincial BM64. 

“She got smashed at Warwick Farm last start, but it was still a pretty good run. That was over 1400m, and I think she will appreciate getting over more ground. 

“She has won over a mile before she came to me and the way she worked on Tuesday I think she’s in for a good run.”

And while Wynen’s owners will be on track on Saturday, she probably feels the most pressure from her third runner Magic Stella.

“She’s owned by my partner Reece Partington,” Wynen said. “If she can win it will be a nice Christmas present for us.

“She is up to 1350m on Saturday, and I can’t wait to see her over more ground. We will hold her up and hopefully she can find the line. The sting out of the ground will also help.”

The three-year-old Grunt filly will be ridden by Lee McGorrian in the 1350m Class 1. 

“It’s been flat out lately with the kids, Eli 10 and Indi, seven on holidays, along with the horses and Christmas. It will be all worthwhile if we can get a winner.”

The first of seven races gets underway at 1.25pm.


Race 1 –  1.25pm: WYONG EQUINE CLINIC CONDITIONAL BM68 (1200m): 1 THE KING, 2 Akaka Falls, 3 Don Pedro, 4 Surfers Royale.

Race 2 – 2.00pm:  DE BORTOLI WINES PROVINCIAL BM64 (1600m): 1 BOOMINARTIE, 2 Bak Da Man, 3 Socrates, 4 Dresden.

Race 3 – 2.35pm: CARLTON & UNITED BREWERIES 4YO & UP MIADEN (1300m): 1 GIVE ME JOY, 2 Beach Party, 3 Bobby’s Fling, 4 Beauty Bound.

Race 4 – 3.10pm: TABCORP CLASS 1 (1000m): 1 EMPHATIC BEL, 2 Coco Dreaming, 3 Ringdembells, 4 Willingale.

Race 5 – 3.45pm: SKY CHANNEL SUPER 4YO & UP MAIDEN (1100m): 1 ZARAGOZA, 2 Hawkwind, 3 Ausbred Mimosa, 4 Fruiting Habit.

Race 6 – 4.25pm: RYAN’S METAL ROOFING MIDWAY 3YO MAIDEN (1100m): 1 TOYGER, 2 Edited By, 3 Taxpayer, 4 Dayu.

Race 7 – 5.05pm: WYONG LEAGUES GROUP CLASS 1 (1350m): 1 LADY BOSS, 2 Pogacar, 3 Turbulent, 4 Little Cointreau.



Favorite backers were in the queue, but Tommy Berry had other ideas, his mount Highness running down favourite Spywire in the straight to take out the 2023 Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic. 

The impeccably bred colt, a son of Snitzel from Diana’s Star and a $900k yearling, went into the $200,000 feature as $4.40 chance. 

As the 1100m race evolved it looked like the Maher/Eustace stable had bagged a feature double, before Highness stormed home in the final stages to claim a narrow victory in a thrilling finish.

Trainer Michael Freedman was delighted with the win, believing the colt still has plenty to offer. 

“He’s such a laid-back character, a bit showy in condition and still learning to be a racehorse,” Freedman said. “He did a lot of that today on raw ability and if he comes out if it well, we have ticket to the Gold Coast. 

“He ran a good time which is a great indication with two-year-olds. He’ll need a trial between now and the Gold Coast race to keep him up to the mark.”

Berry said Highness was as “underdone as you’re going to see him” and has plenty more to give. 

“The Gold Coast is going to suit him a bit better and winning this should switch him on.”

The winner sported the same colours as champion colt Capitalist and will be hoping to emulate his success taking out the 2YO Magic Millions Classic in January.

Runner up Spywire ($2.05) is also likely to push onto the Gold Coast, with Waterhouse/Bott runner Toque ($3.10) finishing third. Highness is now a $8 bet for the Gold Coast Classic on January 13. 

The race wasn’t without controversy, Racing NSW stewards questioning Spywire’s jockey Tyler Schiller about his riding out his mount in the final 100m, before giving him the benefit of the doubt due to the margin but warning him about such actions in the future.

Spywire returned lame upon examination will require a veterinary clearance before any future trial or race.

While Maher/Eustace may have been denied a feature double, they trained the quinella in the $150,000 Magic Millions 3YO & 4YO Stakes with classy mare Royal Merchant staving off her fast-finishing stablemate Semana on the line. 

Jason Collett partnered the winner, a $160,000 MM yearling, who has now amassed $725,970 in prizemoney. 

He had the four-year-old mare perfectly positioned throughout, hitting the front in the straight and holding out a late challenge by Semana. 

The Wyong win was Royal Merchant’s fifth from just 17 starts, including a Group 1 victory in The Goodwood at Morphetville in May before going out for spell. 

The Wyong race looked a perfect starting point, and the mare didn’t disappoint pleasing both her stable and rider. 

Assistant trainer Johann Gerard-Dubord said class had prevailed. 

“She had blinkers for the first time, ended up in the perfect spot, travelled well and was good late,” he said. ‘Semana shows us nothing at trials or in trackwork but is a different horse on race day. 

“They will both head to the Magic Millions now.”

Collett said Royal Merchant was “very sharp.”

“She’s had a let up and a trial and the set weights really suited her. She was well placed in this race.”

Royal Merchant was sent out $1.40 favorite, with Semana ($12) and Silentsar ($8.50) who was doing his best work late, third. 

Kim Waugh had a memorable day training a double with Linguee ($26) taking out the 1300m WYONG LEAGUES CLUB GROUP PROVINCIAL BM68 & Bojangles ($3.50) the PBL LAW GROUP Midway BM64 over 1100m, the latter giving Berry a race to race double. 

Waugh had been frustrated with Linguee continually drawing wide barriers but despite drawing wide in nine she decided to start her. 

“She’s a lovely filly but she always draws terrible, it all worked out for her today. Tom (Sherry) rode her a treat. The owners deserve every winner they get. They put a lot of money into racing and it’s a nice Xmas present.” 

She was equally impressed with progressive three-year-old Bojangles, who showed a super turn of foot in the final stages to grab victory on the line. 

 “She’s a good little horse. We bred him, my owners John Stewart & Robert Roulston, and I’m so happy they got a good horse.

 “I don’t know how good he is yet, he’s impressive. Going from a maiden to a BM64 didn’t worry him, he’s a cool little cat.”

Waugh continued a great run with nine winners in just over a month and 14 for the season.

Sara Ryan kicked off the Magic Millions program with a winner in the first, her debutant How Much Better ($7.50) taking out the 1350m STAINLESS FX MAIDEN. 

The All Too Hard colt is a half-brother to Ryan’s six-year-old Much Much Better, who has amassed more than $558,000 in his 32 starts. 

“I only hope he’s as good as his brother,” Ryan said after the victory. “It was a gritty win today and there is still plenty of improvement to come. He’s a good horse and I’m excited about his future.”

The $220,000 yearling giving Ryan her 13th win for the season.

Rachel King put on a masterclass in the 2100m PRIDE EXCAVATIONS BM64 on the Brett Cavanough trained Supertrail ($10). 

King rated the So You Think four-year-old perfectly, pinching a gap on her rivals around the 1000m mark, before going to the line strongly to win by a length. 

Cavananaugh describing Supertrail after the race as a “progressive stayer.”

The $2.15 favorite Youthful finished strongly in second and is not far off another win. 

More Than Ready mare Mistress dominated the 1600m GOLD COAST YEARLING SALE 3 – 16 JAN BM64 courtesy of a cool ride by Tyler Schiller. 

Schiller struck a wall of horses as he turned into the straight but waited patiently until a gap appeared, the four-year-old showing a great turn of foot to speed away and win by two lengths. 

“She’s a really good progressive filly, and hopefully she can get going now,” Schiller said. 

Trained by John O’Shea, Mistress brought up her second win at start eight.

The $300,000 Magic Millions yearling, is raced by Milburn Creek’s John and Trish Muir, 

There was plenty of praise for the condition of the track, with credit due to Phil Robinson & his team.



WYONG trainer Damien Lane says the opportunity to run his young horses in both feature Magic Millions races at home tomorrow is “too good to pass up”.

Lane opted to start Bare To Witness on resumption in the $150,000 MM 3 & 4YO Stakes (1200m) instead of a restricted race on the program, along with debutante Sneaky Sophia in the $200,000 MM Wyong 2YO Classic (1100m).

Stable apprentice Anna Roper has been given the mount on Bare To Witness, even though it is a non-claiming race, and Reece Jones rides Sneaky Sophia.

Lane dually accepted with Bare To Witness, who went for a break after two impressive country wins, in the PBL Law Group Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m).

“It would have been an easier race for sure, but we had our sights on the 3 & 4YO Stakes when we gave him a break after winning at Dubbo and Coonamble in late September and early October,” Lane said this morning. 

“Races on our home track worth $150,000 don’t come along very often, and being a Magic Millions purchase, he is eligible, so why not have a crack?

“Obviously, he is going up against a Group 1 winner in the favorite Royal Merchant, but I’m really happy with how Bare To Witness has prepared for this.

“He went super (finishing strongly in the centre of the track) when third in a pretty strong trial at Newcastle on November 30.

“If you take the favorite out, it’s a pretty competitive race.

“Whilst we were teaching Bare To Witness to get back and run on in his two country wins, I’m hoping that from an inside draw, he will be able to position up closer tomorrow and he has a really good turn of foot.”

Lane says Bare To Witness will need to be competitive in the 3 & 4YO Stakes if he is to head north for the Magic Millions carnival at the Gold Coast next month.

“There is a Class 4 Plate (1300m) for colts, geldings and entires worth $250,000 on January 6 for three and four-year-olds,” he said.

A $50,000 purchase at last year’s MM yearling sale, the now three-year-old has won three of his eight starts, and more than recouped his purchase price.

Whilst Lane is yet to taste success in either of his home track MM features, he has been around the mark, finishing fourth with $151 bolter Buckin’ Beauty to Problem Solver in the 2018 3 & 4YO Stakes, and third with Wealthy Investor ($18) to Soaring Ambition in the 2021 2YO Classic.

Merchant Navy filly Sneaky Sophia was an $80,000 buy at this year’s MM sale in January.

“She is a half-sister to Just Field, with whom we won a few races and also was placed many times in Sydney and Brisbane, and that’s why we were keen to buy her,” Lane explained.

“Sneaky Sophia has had the one trial (third to Justice Please, one of her rivals tomorrow, over 800m at Newcastle on November 30), and I would have liked to have been able to give her another trial.

“She is quite a nice filly, and I have no doubt will be better as a three-year-old, but again the race is on your home track, there are only eight runners and it’s worth good money.

“The hot favorite (Spywire) dominates the event, but if Sneaky Sophia can run Top 3 or 4, it will be a pleasing outcome looking ahead to the future.”

Spywire, from the powerful Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable, cost $520,000 as a yearling, and is currently a $6 second favorite for the Gold Coast $3m Magic Millions (1200m) on January 3.

But he isn’t the dearest two-year-old in tomorrow’s race.

A son of 2004 Wyong 2YO Classic winner Snitzel, Highness (Tommy Berry), trained by Michael Freedman, fetched $900,000 at this year’s MM sale, and won an 800m trial against his own age at Newcastle on November 30.

Kristen Buchanan is the only other Wyong trainer with a representative in either of the feature events. She runs Stenson Wallman (Koby Jennings) in the 3 & 4YO Stakes.

The seven-race program begins at 1.45pm.


RACE 1 – 1.45PM STAINLESS FX MAIDEN HANDICAP (1350m): DUNBELIEVIN’, 2 Discover, 3 Figment, 4 Preordain.

RACE 2 – 2.20PM PRIDE EXCAVATIONS BENCHMARK 64 HANDICA (2100m): 1 SCARLET PRINCE, 2 Aunt Roberta, 3 Youthfull, 4 Supertrail.

RACE 3 – 2.55PM GOLD COAST YEARLING SALE 3-16JAN BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1600m): 1 MISTRESS, 2 Ritzytwenties, 3 Silent Russian, 4 Heika.

RACE 4 – 3.30PM MAGIC MILIONS WYONG 3 & 4YO STAKES (1200m): 1 ROYAL MERCHANT, 2 Semana, 3 Fleetwood, 4 Bare To Witness.

RACE 5 – 4.05PM WYONG LEAGUES CLUB PROVINCIAL BENCHMARK 68 HCP (1300m): 1 ANNULUS, 2 Little Beginnings, 3 Big Happiness, 4 The Empire.

RACE 6 – 4.40PM MAGIC MILLIONS WYONG 2YO CLASSIC (1100m): 1 SPYWIRE, 2 Toque, 3 Highness, 4 Justice Please.

RACE 7 – 5.14PM PBL LAW GROUP MIDWAY BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1100m): 1 BOJANGLES, 2 Smiling Prophet, 3 Northumbria, 4 The Extreme Cat.