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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


WEDNESDAY: November 30, 2022: BRAD Widdup’s smart juvenile Fire Lane may not be his only Magic Millions representative on the Gold Coast in January.

Well-bred mare Youthfull made it two wins this preparation when successful at Gosford today, and is likely to join her younger stablemate at the $11.75m meeting, which boasts eight $1m races on January 14.

Her target is one of those $1m features; the Magic Millions Subzero (2200m).

The younger sister to D’Argento, the 2018 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas winner and Group 1 Epsom Handicap runner-up (narrowly beaten by Hartnell), is eligible for that race, having been sold at the 2020 MM yearling sale for $375,000.

With Jay Ford aboard, Youthfull ($3.20) outstayed Do Well Legend ($4.60) and $3 favorite Savanici in today’s Class 1/Maiden Plate (1900m).

“She is going well this preparation, and is a lot stronger mare now,” Widdup, Hawkesbury’s leading trainer, said this evening.

“Youthfull scored easily first-up at Newcastle over 1600m in October, and hasn’t had a lot of luck at her last two runs (fourth and seventh) at Kembla Grange.

“I’m sure she is going to get further and we would like to get her to that staying race at the Magic Millions meeting in January.”

Interestingly, Youthfull is raced by BK Racing & Breeding and racing manager Ben Vassallo, who also won the Subzero at the Gold Coast two years ago with Black On Gold.

Additionally, D’Argento and his younger sister (both by So You Think from Fullazz) won their first races at Newcastle.

D’Argento won a 2YO Maiden (1200m) at Newcastle in June, 2017, and Youthfull needed 1600m, and minus blinkers, to break her maiden status on October 11.

The four-year-old mare gave Widdup his 23rd winner of the season today, and took his career tally to 260.

Meanwhile, Hellbent filly Fire Lane, who made a winning debut in the $150,000 Max Lees Classic (900m) at Newcastle on November 12, won a 896m trial against her own age and sex (beating Golden Gift placegetter Summer Loving) at Canterbury yesterday – and pleased her trainer.

“She isn’t the biggest filly in training, but is a natural two-year-old,” Widdup said.

“Fire Lane crossed and led in the trial, and did it nicely.”

A $330,000 MM purchase earlier this year also for BK Racing & Breeding and Ben Vassallo, the filly will start next in either the $200,000 Wyong MM 2YO Classic (1100m) on December 14 or 2YO Handicap (1100m) at Royal Randwick three days later.

“The Wyong race is our target, but the Randwick race is a fallback option if she doesn’t draw well,” Widdup said.

Jay Ford, who won on Fire Lane at Newcastle and also partnered her in the Canterbury trial, continues his association with her, whether it be at Wyong or Randwick.

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