Apprentice Thornton ready for biggest day

Mark Oberhardt
Stephanie Thornton will ride Gotta Kiss in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast

In-form apprentice jockey Stephanie Thornton is keeping busy as she prepares for the biggest day of her career.

Thornton will partner Gotta Kiss in Saturday's $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic and many are giving her a top chance to join Clare Lindop as a female jockey to win the race.

Lindop won the Classic on Augusta Proud in 2008 and Thornton is only the fourth woman to ride in the race since then.

Jess Taylor finished 11th on Girls Are Ready last year, Jamie Kah 15th on Crockett in 2018, and Kristy Banks was 14th on Spirit Of Boom in 2010.

Gotta Kiss, who is trained by Thornton's master Steve O'Dea, has won twice and been a nose second in three starts in the lead-up to the Millions where she has drawn barrier four.

O'Dea, whose only previous Classic runner Candika ran third in 2016, has been working with Thornton to get Gotta Kiss to settle just off the pace.

Thornton rode Gotta Kiss behind Millions rival Euphoric Summer in a track gallop on Tuesday where the filly appeared to settle well.

Thornton then went to the Gold Coast where she rode in a beach race before the Millions barrier draw.

Apart from trackwork,Thornton, who is fourth on the metropolitan premiership with 31 winners, has six rides at the Doomben twilight meeting on Thursday.

"I am really enjoying the week but keeping busy and focused. Gotta Kiss has drawn the perfect barrier and now it is up to us," she said.

Thornton also has a chance to not only win the Classic but join an elite group of women with Magic Millions day winners to their credit.

Apart from Lindop, Tegan Harrison in the Fillies and Mares on Endless Shadow (2015), Deanne Panya in the 2017 Magic Millions Cup (Testashadow) and Michelle Payne in the 2016 Sprint (Husson Eagle) have won feature races on the day.