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By David Fowler | Tuesday, December 26, 2017

David Fowler is the principal thoroughbred caller for Radio TAB. David, who is a keen form student and punter, has enjoyed a lifetime involvement in the racing media. His personal blog, ‘My Call’, appears exclusively on HRO.

Two impressive displays in the last week confirmed a three cornered contest for the Magic Millions on January 13.

Considering the race is still under three weeks away and a capacity field will run, it might seem a brave statement but, realistically, not really.

The marketplace agrees with Ef Troop and Jonker ($4 co favorites) and Sunlight emerging at $7.

Jonker has now delivered twice, firstly in a 900m scamper at Newcastle and then in a traditional key MM lead up at Wyong last Thursday.

Professionally based with good barrier manners, natural speed and the ability to find the line is the Jonker profile.

The Wyong 1100 metres is a "quick 1100 metres" so Jonker's time of 1:3.95 is not spectacular but there was a healthy winning margin against some well touted rivals.

Sunlight cleared out over the 900 metres at the Gold Coast in a fast 50:42 (brilliant 32:2 last 600m) with the winning margin of almost five lengths an ever widening one.

The time could be considered flattering on a day when quick times were the norm.

Significantly. there is scope for physical improvement with trainer Tony McEvoy quickly ordering another run for Sunlight on Saturday week.

Both Jonker and Sunlight have laid down the gauntlet but not strongly enough to challenge the Ef Troop formlines as the benchmark for MM analysis.

This trio can only firm, not ease, on their current prices with the barrier draw shaping the most accurate betting market.


Could there be a Magic Millions upset?

Personally, I wouldn't consider this an upset but the $26 currently available for Outback Barbie is generous.

She unluckily fell into Ef Troop's shadow winning on the same day and in slower time at Doomben last Saturday week.

But it's worth keeping in mind she won a Listed race at 1110m on debut and there was no fluke in the performance.

And I consider this is one juvenile who will take a lot of benefit from that raceday experience.

If you're keen to prosecute a winning case for Sunlight, remember Outback Barbie trialled just as well as her prior to the Calaway Gal win.

She is a very backable roughie.


A good gamble has emerged in the Magic Millions Guineas.

Take the $16 on offer about the Victorian Bel Sonic.

He has a powerful finish and overcame a leaderish track to win at Moonee Valley last Saturday after a first-up Pakenham victory,

All races on Magic Millions day are run at a furious tempo and 1400m third-up seems ideal.

Bel Sonic is an extra smart three-year-old and the Guineas has arrived at exactly the right time.

The odds are right as well !


Many have asked me about the future of Radio TAB in the light of the Tatts-Tabcorp merger signed sealed and delivered last Friday.

Understandably, there are a raft of issues to sort through with the combining of two major businesses.

Pleasingly, the media delivery is considered in the "big ticket" category and it won't be a flick of the switch from one to another as some might think.

Apart from Radio TAB (Qld, SA, Tas and NT), Sky Sports Radio (NSW) there is also the presence of the Victorian-based RSN which,unlike its counterparts, is owned by the Racing Industry.

Does it retain its current status outside the square or is TABCORP considering a purchase off Victoria's three codes?

State content, particularly before the national racing service begins, will be a paramount issue in the coming months.

"Blind Freddy" could tell you some jobs will go. The savings factor was a key plank in selling the merger deal to all concerned.

And some will see it as a suitable way to end their careers whatever role they play in either company.

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David Fowler
David Fowler
Ef Troop
Ef Troop

Photos: Graham Potter

Photos: Graham Potter
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