Stuart Kendrick is facing a dilemma which has become more pronounced for many trainers in the lead-up to the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
Kendrick trains Way Beyond who is currently 20th in the order of entry for the $2 million Classic on January 11 at the Gold Coast.
Way Beyond has been placed at his three starts earning $53,500 of which $36,050 is applicable to Magic Millions entry.
QTIS and BOBS scheme bonus payments do not count towards qualifying.
In recent years Kendrick would have had a relatively straightforward decision where to place Way Beyond to ensure a Millions start.
The cut-off point to qualify for the Millions has steadily increased and it was thought this year about $50,000 would be a safe figure.
Kendrick has Way Beyond in the Group Three B J McLachlan Stakes on Saturday and has also nominated him for a two-year-old handicap at the Sunshine Coast.
“If he runs in the first three at Eagle Farm he would be in the Millions. Even fourth is worth $12,500 which could get him in,” Kendrick said.
“The Sunshine Coast race is worth $11,000 to the winner which is line-ball.”
The qualifying prize money cut-off point has been muddied this season by the decision to introduce two races worth $125,000 each the week before the Millions.
“It means that in effect four horses (two from each race) could leap-frog into the race even if they don’t have much prize money at the moment,” Kendrick said.
“It means we will probably have to run in Brisbane to make certain.
“If he is going to win the Millions he will have to meet these horses sooner or later.”
Kendrick has booked Brad Stewart to ride Way Beyond who will start from barrier seven at Eagle Farm.
Although he has not won a race, Way Beyond has been a strong minor placegetter in each of his three runs.
He was unlucky at his last start when second behind Red Stiletto at Doomben after being held up for a run.
“The 1200 metres on Saturday suits and he has handled Eagle Farm so here is hoping,” Kendrick said.
Kendrick’s best effort to date in the Magic Millions Classic was a second by Fullazaboot behind Sunlight in 2018.