Jockey Ryan Moore calls Magician (IRE) “one of the best horses I’ve ridden in a long time”; high praise for Coolmore’s homebred. Magician gave trainer Aidan O’Brien his ninth Irish 2000 Guineas victory, along with the Dee Stakes (G3) in England, before faltering in the summer at Royal Ascot, finishing last in the St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1). He didn’t race again until his brilliant win in the Breeders’ Cup Turf four and a half months later.
The Turf at 1 ½ miles was three furlongs further than Magician had ever run, but different jockeys all attested to his ability to relax and then quicken very well in his races. Co-owner Michael Tabor suggested to O’Brien to step him up and bring him to the firm ground of Santa Anita off the long break.
The three-year-old Magician, 12-1, gave his elders the first run for much of the race, then exploded down the stretch to run down favorite The Fugue (GB) in the final strides and pull away after the wire. Like other sons of Galileo, Magician is getting better as he ages, and is expected to race as a four-year-old in 2014.