Congratulations to Francis & Christine Cook and Lee & Cherie Curtis on the impressive win of promising 2yo MERYL (By EPAULETTE) in Saturday’s $200,000 Group 3 Magic Millions Bruce McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben.

Racing for a lady’s syndicate headed by Christine Cook, MERYL hit the line strongly for an impressive win providing her first season sire EPAULETTE with his first stakes winner.

Meryl, who ran sixth on her debut in the Gimcrack Stakes (Listed, 1000m) at Randwick on 30 September, was well away from her inside draw in barrier one but was reined back into midfield in the early stages.  She improved going well on the inside approaching the home bend and, having been switched off heels at the 200 metres, she picked up strongly to win by three quarters of a length.

Rosehill-based Curtis said the three month break between runs had helped MERYL, and he confirmed that she would now head to the Gold Coast for a tilt at the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m) on 13 January.

“I didn’t feel she was at her best in the Gimcrack and the break has done her the world of good,” Curtis said. “Chris (Reith) felt there wasn’t much early pace in the race but they went very hard which suited us perfectly. I think she will be improved further for the Millions but it is going to be very tough.”It is an exciting time because she is owned by a group of women so she is eligible for $500,000 in bonus payments.”

MERYL (By EPAULETTE) was purchased by Randwick B’Stock P/L (FBAA) / Mystery Downs for $150,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the Riversdale draft. She is one of seven named foals out of the winning mare ACADEMY IDOL (By MADE OF GOLD) making her a half-sister to three winners, including the stakes placed pair CHOSEN IDOL (By CHOISIR) and MISS IDYLLIC (By EXCEED AND EXCEL).

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