Magic Millions Classic betting was thrown into disarray after the defeats of early fancies Sizzling and Snipzu at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Sizzling, the early $3 favourite for next month's A$2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast, went down by a half-neck to Noogoora Burr ($7.50) in the listed Phelan Ready Stakes (1000m).
Snipzu, who was on the third line at $6.50 in early Magic Millions betting with TAB Sportsbet, weakened to finish third in the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1000m) won by Discreet ($4.80).
The Kelly Schweida-trained Discreet, a A$50,000 Magic Millions buy, finished strongly to down Patinack Farm's debutante Dysfunction ($15) by 3 lengths with Snipzu ($2.05 fav) a long neck away.
Sizzling was heavily backed to start $1.14 favourite in the Phelan Ready Stakes but was always in trouble after beginning slowly.
Sizzling's jockey Chris Munce warned punters not to write off the colt for the Magic Millions before coming out to win on Discreet.
Munce refused to declare his preference for the Magic Millions on January 14.
"I never make a decision in the heat of battle," Munce said.
"Sizzling's run was super and the winner had too soft a run up front.
"He was caught a little wide early on but he had good cover."
Munce was impressed with Discreet's victory in the Calaway Gal Stakes but refused to commit to the filly for the Gold Coast feature.
"She was never going to get beaten," he said.
"It was just a matter of her getting the right splits.
"Queensland can be thankful we have two really top chances for the Magic Millions."
Trainer Kelso Wood was far from disappointed with Sizzling's defeat.
"It was an enormous run from a bad barrier," Wood said.
"He didn't show enough speed when they jumped and he'll improve a lot after this run.
"I'm sure 1200m in the Magic Millions will suit him a lot better."
Noogoora Burr's win, his second from as many starts, gave trainer David Lawlor his greatest thrill in racing after he earlier scored with Maling in the Coca-Cola Amatil Handicap (2100m).
"He's in the Magic Millions and is going to win it, too," Lawlor said.
"This has been the best day of my life."
Lawlor is currently battling his third bout of cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
"It's the best feeling I've had in my life and it's the best chemo ever," he said.
Lawlor now plans to give Noogoora Burr his final start before the Magic Millions Classic in the group three BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday week.
The McLachlan will also see a return clash between Sizzling and the two fillies, Discreet and and Snipzu.
In other Magic Millions news Gold Coast 3-year-old Biggles burst into Guineas contention after claiming the listed Gold Edition Plate on protest.
The Desleigh Forster-trained Easy Running ($5.50) was first past the post with a length margin to spare over Biggles ($6) but lost the race in the stewards' room.
Biggles' rider, apprentice Timothy Bell, fired in an objection alleging Easy Running shifted in two horses at the 150m mark.
Biggles' trainer Noel Doyle believes the horse, who also won at Eagle Farm at his previous start earlier this month, is on target for the A$1 million Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.