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Scarlet Rain brings back memories of Magic Millions winner Karuta Queen

She is a chestnut filly with a flashy tail just like Tommy Berry's first Magic Millions winner Karuta Queen, but whether impressive debutant Scarlet Rain makes her way to the Gold Coast remains unclear.

Scarlet Rain led all the way in The Hyland Race Colours Plate at Rosehill on Saturday to earn a spot in the Magic Millions Classic, but has it come too quick for her?

Gai Waterhouse, who has trained four Magic Millions Classic winners, returned from her European Christmas break on Saturday and will inspect the filly in the next couple of days to decide whether or not to take on the $2 million feature.

The Manhattan Rain filly is a natural two-year-old. She showed the typical Waterhouse style by jumping to the front, leading and travelling well before giving a good kick in the straight to win.

She did so after only one barrier trial and has untold improvement left in her. "We have liked her from the time she come into the stable and she did exactly what she did in her trial out there," Waterhouse's assistant trainer Mark Newnham said. "She looks a bit like Karuta Queen and, when I legged Tommy up, I said to him she looks like her, so ride her like her.

"I spoke with Gai this morning and she said she will not rule the Magic Millions out just yet. Gai will get home and have a look at her and make that decision." Scarlet Rain answered a late challenge from Cudabeen to score by a head with Ajani 2½ lengths away in third.

TAB fixed odds firmed Scarlet Rain in from $35 to $17 for the Magic Millions and Berry, who doesn't have a ride in the race, had been waiting for her to run. He was impressed. "I don't want to get carried away with her yet but I think she is pretty smart," Berry said. "She had a very, very big blow today and she looked big in the mounting yard. She is going to take great improvement from that, I just don't know how much. She has all the right attributes to be a nice filly."

Berry remained cautious about a seven-day back-up, despite taking her first race day in a relaxed fashion.

"I liked her from the time I got on her in the mounting yard," he said. "She took everything in her stride for a filly that showed great speed in her trial. I thought she would be more on the toe. "With the blow I'm not sure she would but I'll leave that to Gai," Cudabeen lost no admirers coming from near the tail of the field to run second. She gave up half a dozen lengths coming to the turn and got within a head. Trainer Tracey Bartley said she would be sent for a break before returning for rich races in the autumn. "She is still learning her craft," jockey Grant Buckley said. "We had to go back from the barrier and she was really finding the line. She is going to make a really nice filly." It might have been a winning start for the Waterhouse stable but the other runner from the stable Northern Fire lost his rider Adam Hyeronimus when crowded at the 250 metre mark. It was Hyeronimus' first fall in seven years of racing. It was a harmless tumble as he got pressure from his inside and Cudabeen raced tight to outside. Kerrin McEvoy was charged with careless riding by pushing out on Ajani, taking out Syrah, which took the legs of Northern Fire.

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