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Thu 3 June 2021

By Glenn Davis

Master trainer Chris Waller’s decision to drop in grade with former Kiwi Polly Grey and Nudge could reap a $300,000 windfall in the Magic Millions National Classic at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Polly Grey will clash with her stablemate Nudge in the 1600-metre weight-for-age feature for fillies and mares.

The National Classic, also known as the Queensland Sapphire Stakes, is one of three new fillies and mares races on the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival programme, along with last month's Group 3 Pam O'Neill and the Tattersall's Gold Crown at Eagle Farm on June 26.

The National Classic carries prizemoney of $500,00 with a $300,000 purse to the winner.

Polly Grey – a Nash Rawiller mount – drew barrier eight while Nudge (Kerrin McEvoy) will jump from gate 10.

Waller’s Gold Coast stable foreman Brett Killion finds it hard to separate the pair but has a slight leaning to Nudge, who is coming off a brilliant win in the Pam O’Neill over 1600 metres.

“It’s hard to separate them and my only concern with Polly Grey is she’s dropping back in distance to 1600 metres,” Killion said.

“Nudge has been racing well and it was a strong win in the Pam O’Neill.

“She’s drawn a bit wide but it won’t worry her as she gets back in her races.

“It was a long time between wins for Nudge when she won the Pam O’Neill but sometimes they can follow up with another win fairly quickly.”

Nudge’s Group 3 victory was her first win in 18 months since claiming a Benchmark race at Flemington in November, 2019.

Polly Grey - a daughter of Azamour - was an impressive winner in the Listed Gosford Cup over 2100 metres on May 8 before producing a powerful finish to claim the Listed Lord Mayors Cup over 2000 metres at Rosehill on May 22.

A Listed stakes-winner in New Zealand when trained by Kylie Fawcett, Polly Grey is now a valuable stud proposition with nine wins and eight placings from 31 starts.

A win in the Magic Millions National Classic will boost her prizemoney earnings to almost $840,000.

Polly Grey broke through for her first Australian win in the Group 3 Epona Stakes over 1900 metres at Rosehill in March before her two most recent victories.