Stella Says Don't Sleep On Defending Origin Champ

GREG Stella is well aware of the task facing defending State Of Origin Sprint champion Magistrate when he lines up on Thursday night.

GREG Stella is well aware of the task facing defending State Of Origin Sprint champion Magistrate when he lines up for that race over 520m at Albion Park on Thursday night.

Magistrate (Fernando Bale-Inspired Hope) was a young up-and-coming star when he drew the rails and downed Hello Mike and Wyndra All Class to win the 2023 running of the State Of Origin Sprint.

This year he is a tough campaigner, in form to match any in his career, but facing a star-studded field and from box five.

"What a great field," said Greg Stella.

*** Winter Special: First 10 Services To Sennachie – $2500 *** 

"Anything in the race can win.

"I would say though, that most of them are not well boxed for the race, with the exception of the two (Zipping Megatron).

"Our dog, Magistrate, has Bear's Bullet in the seven and she is a great beginner which carves across the field early.

"She comes down pretty hard towards the rail."

Magistrate goes into this year's Origin Sprint off a wonderful career of 65 starts for 27 wins and 28 placings earning $422,000 in stakes.

He has put together an impressive feature race career.

As well as winning the G3 Origin Sprint, he's won a G3 Ipswich Auction, the Auction Sprint and an Ipswich Cup Consolation.

He has been second in the G3 Casino Cup, a Million Dollar Chase Consolation, third in the G1 Gold Bullion, G2 Flying Amy Classic, G3 Qld Flame and an Ipswich Young Guns.

He has also been a finalist in the G1 Brisbane Cup and a G3 Albion Park Young Guns.

"He's been a great dog for us all (owner Donna Darcy)," said Greg.

"He has been in top grade everywhere he goes for the past year and even today is racing as well as ever."

Connections following Magistrate's 2023 State Of Origin heroics

Stella, acknowledged as one of the country's foremost form students, said the Origin Sprint would be tough for all of them to win.

"There is a lot of speed in the race, but of course not all of them can lead," he said.

"Which means Zipping Megatron is probably the best boxed dog in the race off the two."

Zipping Megatron ran 29.69 when winning at Albion Park last Thursday night to force his way into the NSW Origin line-up.

But the race is chock full of racetrack stars.

In all, the eight runners have won 140 races and earned $1.9 million.

Latest News Articles