Group Three Wellington Cup winner for Magic Albert

Tara Madgwick - Saturday January 20
Magic Chai is likely to be set for a feature two-mile double after his stout staying performance to win Saturday's Group III Wellington Cup (3200m) at Trentham.

Magic Chai - Race ImagesHis victory in the Wallaceville Estate-sponsored feature came at his open class debut and the five-year-old now has a Group One contest on his autumn programme.

"We'll get him home and see how he is and if his form holds up then the Auckland Cup is an obvious target," trainer Tony Pike said.

"He's only had 18 starts so he's still pretty much untapped. He's a good, genuine stayer."

The son of Magic Albert settled among the tailenders before picking up ground 800m from home.

"When they all took off a long way from home it played into his hands," Pike said.
Magic Chai came with an irresistible finish to swamp his rivals in the closing 150m with a gallant Sampson, Alinko Prince and the topweight Patrick Erin the next three home.

The chestnut five-year-old is raced by Lyndhurst Farm principals Mark and Shelley Treweek, who bought him from the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in Melbourne for $90,000 from the Milburn Creek draft.

Bred by Scott and Debbie Holcombe, Magic Chai is the best of four winners from Viscount mare Chai, a winning full sister to Group I winner Neroli.

Chai is owned by Milburn Creek's Scott and Debbie Holcombe and was covered last spring by Darley's Group I winner Holler.

Magic Chai's victory gave his owners Mark and Shelley Treweek a result to boost spirits ahead of New Zealand Bloodstock's Yearling Sale series.

Magic AlbertThe Cambridge couple will be offering a 13-strong draft during the Book 1 sale at Karaka, which opens on January 28.

"It's fantastic for Mark and Shelley," Pike said. "Mark trained the horse for his first few starts and I got him about 18 months ago. He's kept improving and got stronger."

Magic Chai was ridden by Michael McNab, who said he was confident as soon as the pace of the race increased.

"We got back on a really slow tempo and when they cranked it up I got a lovely drag into it.

"He was travelling well near the turn and the more I asked of him the more I got. He was really strong at the line, it's a big buzz."

Magic Chai is the 23rd stakes-winner for Magic Albert and has won five of 18 starts earning over $200,000 in prizemoney.

Formerly at Yarraman Park, Magic Albert is now based at Kooringal Stud and covered 36 mares last year at a fee of $8,800.

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