Top Magic Millions fancy Clevadude impressed trainer Rick Hore-Lacy with his final hitout at Caulfield on Saturday before heading to the Gold Coast for the two year old Classic this week end.
Clevadude will fight for favouritism in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) on Saturday with unbeaten filly Assail and Hore-Lacy says he has the Bel Esprit youngster spot on for his big payday.
“The horse is spot on. He had a strong gallop on Saturday, it’s quite possible I might not gallop him again,” Hore-Lacy said.
“We’ll just trot and canter him around and give him a swim. He might do a little bit of evens on Thursday, I’ll decide when the time comes.”
Hore-Lacy has taken advantage of the opportunity to work Clevadude the reverse way of going at Caulfield on the inside steeple grass to get used to the tight Gold Coast track.
“He didn’t hang one little bit. It was like he had been doing it all his life,” Hore-Lacy said.
“And, he flattened out his last furlong. I couldn’t time him because the markers are all different when they’re going the other way, but he was going pretty quick.”
”It’s a tightish track, and ideally it’s handy to be on the speed, and while Clevadude might be able to lead, it won’t be a problem if he also follows the leader. And, of course, having such a fine temperament is another aspect on his side.”
”You find in the last two weeks leading up to the Magic Millions you have horses popping up as very real chances, so it won’t be an easy event to win but I couldn’t be happier with my bloke.”
Clevadude created a huge impression with a first up three and a half lengths win at Cranbourne on December 15 followed by an a dominant four and a half length Moonee Valley win on December 29 with Magic Millions jockey Craig Newitt aboard.
Like every owner and trainer with a youngster in the Classic, Hore-Lacy is sweating on an inside gate at tomorrow’s barrier draw.
“It’s always nice to draw somewhere near the fence,” Hore-Lacy said.
“If he begins like he did last time, well, he just flew out of the gates.”
Clevadude is having a tight battle with Clarry Conners’ filly Assail for Magic Millions favouritism around the $3.50 mark and the pair dominate the betting with local filly Missy Longstocking next in the market at $8 ahead of last Saturday’s Eagle Farm winner Real Sureal and Gai Waterhouse’s Certitude around the at $12 mark.