Faustus sidesteps Magic Millions

Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox won’t be leaning on trainer John O’Shea to change his mind and contest the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic with impressive youngster Faustus.

Faustus (2c More Than Ready – Living Hell by Danehill) was a brilliant winner on debut in the NOVA 969 Hcp (1100m) at Rosehill last Saturday.

Cox has a share in the colt and would love to win the race held in his own backyard but O’Shea has ruled out a trip to the Gold Coast in favour of a Golden Slipper campaign.  “John has trained far more Group 1 winners than I have had anything to do with,” Cox said.  “I’ll leave it to the expert.”

Vinery champion More Than Ready sired Magic Millions winners Sebring and Phelan Ready and they both stamped the Gold Coast form in consecutive Golden Slippers.

Sebring was sold for a reported $28 million soon after the Golden Slipper reflecting the high stakes game surrounding fashionably bred colts.

Faustus is one of four horses selected, owned and managed by the Cox – Mitchell Venture which is a combination of Cox and trainer-turned-bloodstock agent Bill Mitchell.  The pair manage four horses including Faustus plus colts by Redoute’s Choice, Fastnet Rock and a second More Than Ready with Grahame Begg.

Faustus was purchased at the Gold Coast Magic Millions for $290,000.  His dam Living Hell won her first two starts in scintillating fashion before soundness issues got the better of her.

”Lee Freedman trained Living Hell and, as soon as we bought Faustus, he came straight over to Bill and said the mother was a machine,” Cox recalled.  ”Hopefully, we can get a few more starts out of Faustus than they did with his mother.”

Living Hell is a Danehill daughter of 1998 Melbourne Cup winner Jezabeel.  “More Than Ready over Danehill is a freakish cross,” Cox commented.  “Freakish!”

It has produced 46 individual winners in Australia and New Zealand including the G1 winners Benicio, Perfectly Ready and Dreamaway.