Raheen gets Green Light for Magic Millions

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Raheen Stud’s Nolan family were celebrating on Saturday night after the Group 1 victory of Gimmethegreenlight in the Queens Plate (1600m) at Kenilworth.

Gimmethegreenlight (3c More Than Ready – Yes She Can Cancan by Canny Lad) turned the tables on Variety Club in a thrilling finish to South Africa’s premier summer event. The Australian bred colt had been an unlucky fourth to Variety Club (Var) the last time they met in the G1 Cape Guineas on December 17.

He cost $155,000 from the Vinery draft as a foal at the 2009 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.

Gimmethegreenlight is the latest Group 1 winner for Vinery champion More Than Ready and the victory was also timely for Raheen Stud in advance of the Gold Coast Magic Millions.

Raheen studmaster Basil Nolan jnr has two close relations to the Queens Plate winner catalogued for the Magic Millions and trainer Justin Snaith has been keeping him posted with the colt’s progress in recent weeks.

“He’s flying and could be the surprise packet in the Queens Plate,” Snaith said in an email to Nolan on Wednesday. “I feel he could be a contender despite the fact he’s still only a three year-old.

“There’s not much between him and our Group 1 mare Ebony Flyer. She has a win over Horse of the Year Igugu and will probably be the favourite for the race. But, regardless of the result, Gimmethegreenlight will have a well deserved rest and will be much stronger when he returns from a spell.”

Snaith’s prediction proved spot on when the three year-olds dominated their older rivals at Kenilworth. He has always rated Gimmethegreenlight highly and the colt responded with four wins in his first four starts in Cape Town and Durban.

Due to a combination of wide barriers and slow getaways, the unbeaten run came to an end in the G1 Golden Horseshoe and G1 Premier’s Champion Stake during Durban’s winter carnival but Snaith wasn’t discouraged.

“Gimmethegreenlight came back this season and was flying at the finish in the Guineas,” Snaith explained. “He came out of the race well but there weren’t any other options for him except the Queens Plate.

“I could have put him in the Cape Flying Championship but didn’t want to bring him back to 1000 metres. It was a choice of leaving him in his box or running for a million rand and glory.”

His close relations in Raheen Stud’s Magic Millions consignment are:

Lot 334: Commands colt from Stepping (Dodge). He is from an Eagle Farm winner who is a three-sister to the dam of Gimmethegreenlight. Stepping is also the dam of Peter Moody’s brilliant debut winner Club Command.

Lot 850: Canny Lad colt out of Chosen Dove (Choisir). He’s the first foal of an unraced half-sister to Gimmethegreenlight and Randwick stakes winner Ofcourseican (Mossman).

Trainer Justin Snaith sent us this spectacular shot of the Queens Plate winner on the beach in Cape Town