The Group Three Aurie’s Star Handicap is the likely new-season kick-off point for dual Group One-winning sprinter Vega Magic but his spring path is yet to be locked in.
Vega Magic stepped out in a jump-out at Flemington on Friday morning and co-trainer Ben Hayes said he was happy with the gelding’s hit-out in a heat won by well-performed stablemate Fundamentalist.
Hayes said Vega Magic would have another jump-out on the straight course at Flemington next Friday before making his race return.
“He went around in a hot trial and they ran one of the quickest times of the morning,” Hayes said.
“He finished with the bunch.
“It was only his first trial so he wasn’t asked to do too much and he’s come through the trial well.
“We plan to trial him next week down the straight with the Aurie’s Star in mind.
“And then we’ll either go Aurie’s Star out to the Memsie Stakes, or we might freshen him and set him for the Schillaci for a last-ditch effort at The Everest.
“But we’ve got to talk to the owners and everything. We’ll make that decision later so it’s a little bit up in the air.”
The Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) is on August 10.
Vega Magic won the Group One Memsie (1400m) two years ago before finishing fourth last year.
He has contested the first two Everests, finishing second in 2017 and last in 2018.
The Melbourne Racing Club has announced the winner of this year’s Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield will gain a spot in the The Everest in Sydney seven days later on October 19 after striking a deal with the Australian Turf Club for a slot in the $14 million race.
Vega Magic began a little awkwardly in Friday’s jump-out before rolling forward and finishing a close fifth.
Hayes was thrilled with five-time Group One placegetter Fundamentalist.
“She’s flying and I think she’s really developed,” he said.
“She trialled excellently today.”
Fundamentalist is also expected to trial again next week before her return next month and is also heading towards the Memsie Stakes on August 31.
“She’s five times Group One-placed. I think she’s due a Group One,” Hayes said.