Magical Miss left trainer Bart Cummings with a dilemma after her wonderful weight-for-age debut success at Caulfield on Aug. 31. Ridden by Steven Arnold, last season's 1,000 Guineas and Victoria Oaks (both (Aust-I) heroine swamped a slick Memsie field in the stretch to win the $177,000 (Australian funds) and 1,410 meters event by almost a length.
The extremely promising Fields of Omagh was second, a long neck in advance of Dash For Cash, a dual group I winner for his sire Secret Savings at three last season.
Northerly, Australia's leading older male, finished fourth another half length away down at the rail, but had no luck. As Northerly readies for his defence of the W.S. Cox Plate crown he took from Sunline last spring, he appears to have slightly less fizz, understandable for a 6-year-old gelding, even a lightly raced one with just 22 starts -- for $3.8 million is earnings. Fred Kersley might elect to keep him a liuttle more fresh for the Oct. 26 contest.
Having her second outing at four, Magical Miss appears to have filled out superbly after being left in the paddock during the fall. Cummings has already won a Cox Plate with a daughter of Danehill in Dane Ripper. Whether he heads that way again or sets her for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups -- won last year by distaffer Ethereal -- is bound to remain a source of conjecture for some weeks yet. He has won the Melbourne Cup 11 times.