A judgment call to spend two weeks quarantining is poised to pay big dividends on Magic Millions day for several of Sydney’s top jockeys including James McDonald and Hugh Bowman.
Both hoops as well as fellow Sydney gun Brenton Avdulla have been forced to spend 14-days out of Sydney due to the COVID outbreak to be allowed to cross the Queensland border and ride on the Gold Coast on January 16.
And the decision looks set to be rewarded as the hoops continue to build strong books of rides for the richest raceday on the calendar in Queensland.
McDonald, who is spending quarantine in Byron, was already booked to ride one of Chris Waller’s visiting brigade in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic before heading north.
Last start victor She’s All Class is the top seed and the $4 bookies favourite with McDonald piloting the filly to her last start Wyong triumph.
However, Shaquero and Ranch Hand also remain in consideration for the race for Waller with the former set to run this weekend on the Gold Coast.
James McDonald is in quarantine in Byron. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Bowman would likely ride Ranch Hand, which sits 20th in the ballot order, if it was to make the final field.
McDonald will also pilot the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Aim ($51) in the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas after he was forced to forego the steer on $6 Forbidden Love.
Stewards denied a request to ride from McDonald and connections to ride the Richard and Michael Freedman-trained filly have a kilo over.
McDonald has also been snapped up to ride former Classic winner Exhilarates (Magic Millions Snippets), Irithea (MM Fillies & Mares) and Sambro (MM Cup).
Bowman is poised to link up with several key chances in the support races and would also be in the hot seat of $26 chance Amish Boy in the Guineas if Ciaron Maher and David Eustace push on to the Gold Coast.
He will join forces with the same stable on Snapdancer, a $3.50 chance in the Fillies and Mares race, as well as Magic Millions Cup second favourite Outrageous and Snippets chance Hightail.
Snapdancer will feature on the Gold Coast. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Avdulla, who has stayed the past week in Newcastle and rode at Taree during the week, will be sweating on Joseph Pride’s promising talent Private Eye getting a run in the Guineas.
The $17 chance is 34th in the ballot and would need some luck to get in the field.
Avdulla’s other rides include Black On Gold (MM Subzero), Newsreader (Maiden) and Into The Abyss (MM Fillies & Mares).
Meanwhile, Nash Rawiller and Glen Boss are both normally based in Sydney but have avoided the mandatory quarantine periods after stationing themselves in Melbourne and Queensland respectively.
Boss has rides sewn up for the two major events on the day for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace with $11 chance Fake Love (2YO Classic) and the $6 second favourite Away Game in the 3YO Guineas.
Rawiller is on the Stephen Jones-trained Baby Wong ($11) in the two-year-old.
Originally published asChasing Millions: Quarantine call set to pay off
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