Unite and Conquer on track for Millions

4 min read

By Bren O'Brien

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott's colt Unite And Conquer (Hinchinbrook) looks spot on for his target race, the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January, after easily winning his trial at Randwick on Tuesday morning.

Unite And Conquer was an impressive winner of the Listed Maribyrnong Trial at Flemington on debut in October and having been given time to develop since, David Mourad of Blueblood Thoroughbreds, who bought and syndicated the colt, believes he is a much-improved horse.

"It's exciting to think that there's a lot more to come." - Blueblood Thoroughbreds, David Mourad

"He's taken a load of improvement. Emma Pearce (Waterhouse/Bott racing manager) messaged this morning and they were obviously rapt with the trial, but there is still a lot more to come, even from that trial performance. He was probably a little bit underdone," Mourad said.

"It's exciting to think that there's a lot more to come."

Ridden by Adam Hyeronimus, Unite And Conquer sat on the outside of leader Diamond Thunder (Dawn Approach {Ire}) in the 740m trial and then powered clear in the straight to win by 3.3l in 43.70s, the fastest of the three 2YO trials.

Mourad said the trial was an important step for the colt as he heads towards the $2 million race on January 12.

"The Magic Millions is definitely the target for him. That's the first big goal," he said.

How he gets there is still undecided, with the likelihood that he goes to Queensland for one or two runs beforehand or even possibly to the Magic Millions race at Wyong.

Exceeding expectations

A $85,000 buy for Blueblood Thoroughbreds at the 2018 Gold Coast sale, Unite And Conquer did not immediately appear a likely early-running 2-year-old, but he has improved every time Waterhouse and Bott have asked him to.

"Hinchinbrook can get a 2-year-old, and with him, he was a big robust, solid horse and those bigger horses can take time, and on many occasions, it’s the neater, nippier types that get up as early 2-year-olds," Mourad said.

Unite And Conquer as a yearling

"I wouldn’t say that I saw him and he was definitely going to get up and run early but we liked a lot about him and he was going to get every chance."

"We liked a lot about him and he was going to get every chance." - David Mourad

He would be Blueblood's first runner in the 2-year-old Classic having had Sedanzer (Sebring) run second in the Magic Millions Trophy earlier this year.

"There's a 1000 horses at that January sale and there are a couple of sales elsewhere around Australia, so to get a runner in that 2-year-old race is a big thing. To think that we’ve got one who is looking like a leading chance, we are very excited," Mourad said.

Peter and Paul Snowden's unraced colt Extraordinary (Redoute's Choice), an $800,000 buy for James Harron at the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions, ran on well for second. He is out of an unraced sister to Reset and So Assertive.

Enforcement shines

The Snowdens won the second trial in some style with Enforcement (I Am Invincible) setting the pace and kicking clear to beat stablemate Bondi Blue (Lonhro) by 2.25 lengths.

Enforcement was a $360,000 buy for China Horse Club/Newgate/Winstar from this year's Easter Sale and is out of Listed winner Express Power (Snitzel).

Watch: Enforcement as a yearling

Dubious (Not a Single Doubt), the winner of the G3 Breeders' Plate and current Magic Millions favourite, was given a very quiet time by Michael Walker in that trial and finished fifth, beaten 6.5 lengths.

That was the slowest of the three heats, with Enforcement recording a time of 44.45s.

Early joy for Freedman, O'Rourke

Newly-formed training partnership Michael Freedman and Ed O'Rourke won the fillies trial with Miss Geneva (Delago Deluxe) working home late to claim victory in 43.75s in a blanket finish.

A $40,000 buy at this year's Classic Sale, she is out of Apart (Rahy {USA}), a half-sister to South African stakes-winner Sky Link.

She edged out the Lindsay Park-trained Aladaala (Redoute's Choice), the half-sister to Kingdoms who was the first lot sold at this year's Easter Sale, bought by Shadwell for $550,000.

Early leader Mistress Mouse (I Am Invincible), who is trained by Bott and Waterhouse and was a $450,000 buy at Magic Millions, was not tested by Tim Clark over the final stages and was beaten less than half a length in third.

Recent Rosehill winner for Godolphin, Kiamichi (Sidestep), was given a very quiet time as well and finished fourth.