Phobetor salutes at Gold Coast. Picture: AAP
Phobetor salutes at Gold Coast. Picture: AAP

Why Gai camp is upbeat heading into MM shootout

MAGIC Millions second favourite Farnan brushed over the Gold Coast course proper in good style on Saturday, rounding out what co-trainer Adrian Bott believes is the perfect preparation for next week's $2 million contest.

Farnan was one of three MM hopes to gallop in between races, after the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace pair Rathlin and Away Game paired off 40 minutes earlier.

Farnan is unbeaten in two starts and is $7 second elect with Ladbrokes after having the better of Every Rose in the Wyong Magic Millions.

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Bott said consideration was given to Farnan having another start after Wyong, but he and training partner Gai Waterhouse decided the gallop was the best option.

"There was a lot of temptations (to run)," he said, noting the great record in recent times of horses backing up.

"The B.J. McLachlan was the most likely path, but he's a horse we think can have a presence in the autumn, so we don't want to be making too much use of him before the grand final here and his campaign going forward.

"From what his done in both his starts, he's just been the ultimate professional. Even what he did here today, he had the rail to follow and he was very focused in his work and sharp the way he stretched out.

"It's good being able to get here under the race-day conditions, being at the track and getting the energy levels up a bit to get him working that bit more than you do in a gallop at home, but not as taxing as a race."

Brenton Avdulla, who rode Saturday's gallop but will relinquish the reins to Tim Clark in the Millions, tipped Farnan to be a major force next week.

"He gave me a great feel. It was my first ride on him. He's a very casual horse, took his time getting around, but once I asked him to pick up from the bend, he really ran through the line," he said.

"He was getting stronger and stronger (as the gallop went on). I'm sure he will be right in the money (next Saturday)."

Farnan gallops between races at the Gold Coast. Picture: Trackside Photography
Farnan gallops between races at the Gold Coast. Picture: Trackside Photography

CLASSIC TOUGH TO PICK

The Magic Millions may not have a standout superstar this year, but it's potentially the deepest running of the race we've seen for a long time.

It's going to be a fascinating betting race, as punters have to weigh up a host of different formlines, with the prizemoney cut off around the $58,000 mark to make the field.

Aim is the ruling $5 favourite off the back of two Sydney wins. His first win ties in with stablemate King's Legacy, who went to Brisbane and won the McLachlan.

Runner-up there was Every Rose, who ties in Farnan.

Then there's Gotta Kiss and Lady Banff off their fast Eagle Farm race on December 21, plus the Maher-Eustace pair Rathlin and Away Game, who were stakes winners three days earlier at Doomben.

The people's pick will be Dusty Tycoon, unbeaten in two outings, but off the scene since winning at Doomben on November 30 and kept safe with Ladbrokes at $12.

And from Saturday, can Wisdom Of Water continue the golden run of horses backing up to win seven days later? Conceited will also be there from the same race after indicating he is desperate for 1200m now.

Sydney winner Philizzy is considered a 50-50 chance of coming.

At this stage I'm in the corner of Every Rose from Aim, but it does look a good chance for the bookies to get a rare favourable result from the 2YO Classic.

 

Christian Reith (red cap) sends Philizzy to the line in Sydney.
Christian Reith (red cap) sends Philizzy to the line in Sydney.

 

SPURCRAFT STRIKES BACK

Charlotte White was relieved to see her top sprinter Spurcraft bounce back, running a brave second under his 59.5kg after being forced to do it tough from his wide gate.

White said Spurcraft was knocked around when he was down the track in the Falvelon over 1200m, but his performance on Saturday eased any concerns about it having a long-term effect on him.

 

 

Brad Stewart pilots Phobetor to victory at the Gold Coast.
Brad Stewart pilots Phobetor to victory at the Gold Coast.

 

COSTA LIVING PLUMMETS FOR TRAINER

Trainer Michael Costa had one of his biggest paydays since setting up camp on the Gold Coast when Phobetor showed his rivals a clean pair of heels to win the boys division of the Rising Stars.

Phobetor jumped from gate 15, but was across the face of the field quickly for Brad Stewart and then gave a big kick on the turn where he was able to put Saturday's race to bed.

It completed a plan that had been a long time in the making.

From the moment Costa saw the new $250,000 Class 4 Plate in the program, he set the lightly raced four-year-old for the Gold Coast race.

"We earmarked this race when it came out," he said.

"The plan was to run here third up, but we were only able to get the one run into him and that's possibly why he knocked up fresh. We've had to be patient.

"He had setbacks with his joints early. We only paid $60,000 for him, which is not a lot of money and now he's won a quarter of a million-dollar race."

Stewart was surprised how he was able to dictate in front.

"I didn't expect to lead. I was hoping I might be third and fourth, but they handed it up to me," he said.

"I just jogged in front and he was always going to have a big kick."

Phobetor started an $11 chance after not finishing off first up when eighth to stablemate Malahide at Eagle Farm.

"I don't know what happened (first up), but he was a different horse today," Stewart said.

A late scratching at the barrier led to Yamazaki's appearance in the filly and mare division of the Rising Stars, where she let rip with an amazing burst under Glen Boss.

Stewart throws his goggles to supporters after riding Phobetor to victory.
Stewart throws his goggles to supporters after riding Phobetor to victory.

"I'm sure it looked spectacular visually and it felt pretty good too. I would love to know what her sectionals were. I suspect they will be very good," Boss said.

Pfeiffer only redirected Yamazaki to this race after she was scratched at the barriers before her first-up run.

"When she got scratched at Rosehill, we had to run on the Kenso a week later and I had to readjust my plans and we fell upon this race," he said.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't know it was here, but I'm glad I found it."

Pfeiffer said Yamazaki was likely to back up into next week's $10 million day.

"I was a fraction worried mid-race because I didn't think they had gone quick enough, but her turn of foot was electric," he said.

"Since coming to my stable (from Chris Anderson), she's progressed well and has continued to do it."

Yamazaki was specked in the betting to start a $13 chance, beating the well-tried Call Me Royal ($7.50-$6).

The easing favourite Grand Scholar ($2.30-$2.80) completed a blackout for favourite backers on the day when she was a spent force on the turn.

 

 

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