Sky On Fire wins the Listed 2yo Riccarton Welcome Stakes

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$400,000 Magic Millions Eureka graduate – Sky on Fire

Trainer Mark Walker saddled three runners in the Listed Riccarton Park Function Centre Welcome Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton on Wednesday and scooped the pool with a trifecta headed by Sky on Fire, whose half-sister will be offered at the 2023 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

Under visiting Sydney jockey Josh Parr, Sky On Fire jumped well from barrier 4 and was able to find the lead and the rail, and despite absorbing good pressure from stablemate Rubicon Crossing, was able to go and score in the first juvenile stakes race of the season. The Exceed And Excel filly won by just under a length from Rubick filly Rubicon Crossing, with well-related Snitzel filly Rhetorical finishing third. The trio of fillies were all purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis, with the first two home Magic Millions graduates, while the third place getter was purchased from the Haunui Farm draft at Karaka.

“We are proud of all three of them. They all ran great races and all of them deserve a bit of a holiday now. A stakes performance for their pedigrees is a big help as well,” a delighted Mark Walker said. “Sky On Fire just had the benefit of going down the chute last start which was a big help. All three have got bright futures.”

Despite likely earning enough prizemoney to guarantee a start in the A$2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m), Sky On Fire won’t be seen on the Gold Coast. “She will head back to Te Akau Stud for a nice little break and get ready for the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.2, 1200m),” Walker said. “Rubicon Crossing is in the same boat. She is a Magic Millions filly and will also look at the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes and Rhetorical will go home and get ready for the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m). “I think with her experience she can be a factor in the Karaka Million. She didn’t win today, but she didn’t let us down either. They are all nice fillies.”

Sky on Fire was a $400,000 Magic Millions purchase for David Ellis from the Eureka Stud and is the first foal of Elusive Meteor, a winning Northern Meteor daughter of stakes-winner Golden Pedigree. Eureka Stud wil offer the half-sister by Spirit of Boom to Sky on Fire at Magic Millions as Lot 823.

Sky on Fire is the 205th stakes-winner for Darley’s champion sire Exceed and Excel, who has already made an impression with his new season two year-olds that include stakes-winner Zulfiqar, $1million ATC Golden Gift winner Barber and Breeders Plate runner-up Mach Ten.