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.