Senior racing writer Ben Dorries reflects on the small size of Queensland’s 2-year-old fields

It’s a mystery that would thrill Sherlock Holmes.

Where are all the two-year-olds racing in Queensland with the rich Gold Coast Magic Millions just six weeks away this Saturday?

On the Gold Coast last Saturday, just five two-year-olds faced the starter in a $105,000 race won by Tony Gollan’s debutant Mighty.

Seven days earlier on the Sunshine Coast there were eight 2YOS contesting a metropolitan race.

The Saturday before, there were only five.

Nominations have been extended for next Saturday’s 2YO contest at Doomben and there were nine nominations, but you wouldn’t think they would all line up on race day.

There has also not been much representation from the strong southern stables in Queensland’s two-year-old races so far this season.

Seems odd considering they could probably send out their B-classmen and win a decent prize run that would almost qualify them for the Magic Millions.

Yes, it’s not the eve of the Magic Millions, but even so far it’s a mystery why there aren’t larger-sized fields in two-year-old races in Queensland.

One theory — which probably carries some weight — is that the inaugural $500,000 Magic Millions Debut race has an impact on field sizes.

The new Magic Millions 900 meter daily scamper is limited to first timers and has a large prize money.

The assumption is that some trainers are holding on to the two-year-olds they would normally run at this time of year to watch the Debut instead.

Basically, if a trainer has a Magic Millions 2YO that he thinks is a decent youngster but would likely run in the second half of the 2YO Classic field, he might as well try to set him up for Debut.

Or if a trainer has a fast 2YO who they think might not get the 1200 meters of the Classic, then the Debut might also be a more suitable option.

The two-year-old’s presence in Queensland is sure to grow in the coming weeks with the running of the Listed Calaway Gal for fillies and the Listed Phelan Ready for foals and geldings at Eagle Farm on December 10.

But it’s just as well that Mishani horses have claimed several Queensland 2YO races this season.

Say what you will about trainer Les Ross and owner Mike Crooks stacking fields with young Mishani.

But they are perfectly entitled to do so, and it’s not like many other 2YOS have fallen out of the trees and are ready to race.

Another interesting point to note is that there remains a chance of a reduced field size for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January due to renovations to the Gold Coast track.

If so, there will no doubt be trainers and connections who will explode over their horse missing the field by close range.

But they won’t have a leg to stand on given there have been plenty of opportunities so far to win good-money 2-year-old races and all we’ve seen are small fields.

Originally published as Senior racing writer Ben Dorries reflects on the small size of Queensland’s 2-year-old fields

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