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BARRIER positions are key in any sprint race and trainer Nick Olive is relieved his filly has drawn favourably in the $2 million Gold Coast 3YO Guineas this Saturday.
Olive lines up Single Gaze, which has been plagued with wide barrier draws throughout its career – drawing outside barrier 10 in six of its nine-start career.
This Saturday however, the Not A Single Doubt filly has drawn barrier five for the multi-million dollar feature and a good barrier draw was the recipe for a third-placed finish in last year’s 2YO Classic.
“If she hadn’t have drawn a gate I thought she would be absolutely no hope but now she has a chance to put herself in the race for a change,” Olive said.
The Canberra-based trainer questions the gate speed of Single Gaze, but the improved barrier will only help its chances.
“She hasn’t got great gate speed, she has to be really driven so we’ve had to go back on her when we’ve drawn wide in the past.”
The rise in distance to 1400 metres should suit the filly despite having won over 1100 metres. Olive indicated he will be targeting it over longer distances in the future.
“I feel she has come up but I just genuinely think she’s looking for ground now – I would like to see her up to a mile or further after this run,” Olive said.
“The way she is racing, I feel as though she’s looking for a trip.”
CrownBet.com.au has Single Gaze as a $34 chance. Place a bet up to $50 on the Magic Millions 3YO at CrownBet and if your horses finishes second, you’ll get a Bonus Bet matching your stake!
Waterhouse untroubled by barrier draw
Champion trainer Gai Waterhouse has suffered a cruel blow in the 2YO Magic Millions Classic when Slumber Party ($16 at WilliamHill.com.au) drew barrier 20 for this Saturday’s feature.
Waterhouse rarely lets bad news get her down and she believes Slumber Party’s good gate speed can negate the wide barrier.
“I can’t see a problem with her being out there – she’s got good gate speed,” Waterhouse said.
“Whether they go fast or not, she’s got the speed to be up there.”
Waterhouse has four Magic Millions 2YO victories to her name and bookmakers think it’s a chance too. The daughter of Snitzel is coming off a second placing in the Group 3 B.J McLachlan Stakes at the Gold Coast and it has worked well since.
“She’s very well, done a treat since that run,” Waterhouse said.
“She’s trimmed up nicely and looks to be in great form.”
Waterhouse has happy to secure big-race rider Kerrin McEvoy who won at this track in the winter with Srikandi in the Group 1 Tattersalls Tiara.
“He’s a topliner, an international jockey who has already won a major race at the track,” Waterhouse said.
“He can ride them from anywhere.”
Waterhouse is also represented by Flamboyant Lass in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas which is a $13 chance with WilliamHill.com.au.
Place a bet in the first four races at the Gold Coast this Saturday and if your runner loses but finishes in the first half of the field you get your money back [up to $25], which can be placed on the Magic Millions features.
Team Snowden happy to keep Capitalist
Peter and Paul Snowden had originally planned to run unbeaten star Capitalist a couple of times before trading the horse on, but those plans were quickly put to the side.
Capitalist is one of the shortest-priced Magic Millions 2YO Classic favourites in history and a win could see the colt’s value rise in excess of $5 million after being purchased by James Harron Bloodstock for $165,000.
Peter Snowden felt they could make a quick dollar on Capitalist, but its performances to date have kept the son of Written Tycoon firmly in their stable.
“He’s a horse we identified here last year, a horse that could get up and running before Christmas and maybe trade a horse, win a couple and move him on,” Snowden said.
“But right from the time we started to work and trial him, he was better than that. Still, he’s got to do it yet, he’s only had two starts, but the fact he’s won them in the style he has, it’s always a good sign.”
The stud value will increase significantly with a Group 1 win and Snowden is confident heading into the 1200-metre feature this Saturday.
“I am as confident as you can be,” Snowden said. “There’s a few variables. He’s had a little bit of a hiccup 11 days ago, but I’m more than happy with that now.
“But he’s meeting a bigger field, he’s going to 1200 metres, he’s got a wet track possibly and he just needs a little bit of luck to go his way.”
Peter and Paul Snowden also line up Flippant in the 3YO Guineas which has been backed in from $6.50 to $5 at Sportsbet.com.au.
“I’m a big believer that horses in form usually run well and she’s in great form,” Snowden said, “She hasn’t been [to 1400 metres] before, but she’s always been very strong at the end of 1200 metres. You need to be able to relax mid-race, which she seems to do quite well and she’s got a good turn of foot at the end, so it’s probably a good indication she’s going to get a good seven [furlongs] here.”
Capitalist is a short $1.65 favourite at Sportsbet and many punters have opted to include the star two-year-old in their multi-bets.
Liam Birchley not giving up on Magic Millions dream
Brisbane trainer Liam Birchley is still seeking a win in the Magic Millions 2YO after 11 consecutive attempts and this Saturday will mark his 12th chance to take out the Group 1.
Birchley finished second with Paprika in 2009 and again with Pepperano last year, and he will look to go one better with Punishing this Saturday.
“I don’t think anyone would say Paprika shouldn’t have won the race when she ran second in 2009 and she probably should have. But that’s racing and everyone has those stories and you’ve just got to turn the page and look to the next year.”
Punishing has drawn barrier 16 and is rated an $81 chance with WilliamHill.com.au, but Birchley believes the colt could be the forgotten runner in the field.
“I would just like this year to be different than the others,” Birchley said.
“He hasn’t drawn well but he probably is the forgotten horse because I jumped him out with blinkers on last Thursday and he went like a bomb. The blinkers have improved him at least three lengths, possibly four and he will wear them this weekend.”
Birchley is known for spending small amounts at the Magic Millions Sale and getting a good return on his investment, making his feat of having 12 consecutive runners at the Magic Millions very impressive.
“I prefer [picking horses out at the sales] than training and I find it easier than training,” Birchley said. “The thing people get caught up with buying horses is they worry too much about pedigree and not enough about the individual.
“It’s been proven time and time again athletes run and they don’t know who their mother and father is. You find some of the finest athletes ever born come out of the ghetto and that tells you a lot about breeding.”
Birchley is well aware the danger current favourite Capitalist possesses, but says his runner will have a chance.
“Capitalist will be hard to beat but my horse should run well,” Birchley said. “I would love to win this race. I’ve never had a Stradbroke runner and I can’t think I’m going to be competing year to year in that race but this is one race I’ve had a long association with without actually winning it.
“But if you keep knocking on the door, one day it will open.”
Magic Millions 2YO and 3YO markets
Magic Millions 2YO Classic field and odds:
1. Capitalist – $1.65
2. Claro El Banco – $101
3. Dieters – $17
4. Sundance – $41
5. Nikitas – $11
6. Niccolance – $10
7. Just Orm – $16
8. Punishing – $81
9. Highland Beat – $41
10. Zelady’s Night Out – $12
11. Candika – $11
12. Faraway Town – $41
13. Conchita – $26
14. Slumber Party – $16
15. Mooshakissa – $71
16. Rare Occurrence – $61
17. Rainy Day Woman – $126
18. Zafina – $151
19. Party Pardee – $151
20. Par Oneri – $101
21. Heart Skipt A Beat – $51
Magic Millions 3YO Guineas market:
1. Mahuta – $4.20
2. Real Good – $71
3. Most Important – $13
4. Dram Of Red – $31
5. I’m Belucci – $15
6. In His Stride – $51
7. Sir Bacchus – $10
8. Madotti – $15
9. Flippant – $5
10. Sagaronne – $26
11. Typing – $41
12. Single Gaze – $34
13. Flamboyant Lass – $13
14. Atalanta Miss – $41
15. Star Or Night – $81
16. Egyptian Symbol – $4.60
17. We’re Sure – $15
18. Hesitation – $101
19. Shotacross The Bow – $11
20. Saga Of The Storm – $51
21. Perfect Dare – $41