A number of talented juveniles will be looking to force their way into the reckoning for the upcoming two-year-old Magic Millions event with a strong showing in the McLachlan Stakes (Race 5) over 1200m at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Gai Waterhouse is no stranger to success in this event (which was formerly named the Tommy Smith Slipper in honour of her legendary father) having trained the winner on four separate occasions, most recently with Driefontein back in 2011.
Now in partnership with Adrian Bott, she will be represented on the weekend by well-bred filly Debonairly, who created a real impression when powering to a four and a half length win on debut recently.
Currently lying 27th on the order of entry, a top three finish should be enough to earn Debonairly a spot in the field on January 14 but the manner of her runaway win at Warwick Farm has the camp confident she will prove too classy on the weekend.
Leading local hoop Tegan Harrison will take the ride on the filly, who has lobbed ideally in barrier five and should be able to drive forward in search of the lead.
Indeed, it promises to be a frenetic early dash with plenty of speed drawn toward the inside, none more so than Chris Munce’s Phelan Ready Stakes winner Ours To Keep.
The unbeaten colt has met with heavy support since our fixed odds market was released on Wednesday afternoon and appears set to go off favourite come race day.
Munce, who has enjoyed considerable success with his two-year-olds of late and unveiled another likely type in Sir Cass midweek, went as far as to liken Ours To Keep to former champion galloper Dance Hero, whom he piloted to victory in the 2004 Golden Slipper.
He’s got a long way to go to reach those heights but we’d agree with the ex-jockey’s assessment that Ours To Keep has a racing pattern suited to success in these types of events and expect him to take all the beating on Saturday.
With Toby Edmonds electing not to back up last Saturday’s Doomben winner Houtzen, the Gold Coast-based trainer will instead look to use the race to qualify stablemate Tiara Star, who also enters the race off the back of a dominant performance on the Sunshine Coast.
She’s a filly who has improved with every run to date but despite Edmonds’ suggestion that the step up to six furlongs would suit her, we can’t help but feel that there’s a lot more quality here and are happy to oppose her at the prices.
Godolphin runner Coorg is said to be highly rated within that operation and gets his chance to atone after disappointing on debut when losing out to Chauffeur.
The colt raced very greenly on that occasion and will surely have derived plenty of benefit from the experience so our Brisbane traders will be on the lookout for any serious market moves.
Of the others, Snitzkraft has plenty of natural speed, kept Ours To Keep honest on debut and is likely to figure prominently again while Stephen O’Dea’s Colosimo has done little wrong to date but the horror draw had badly hindered her chances.
1. Ours To Keep