Trainer John Sargent will put the blinkers on Encountabull to try and test the favourite, Cellsabeel, in the 2020 $2m Inglis Millennium – 2yos (1100m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Cellsabeel dominates the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at $1.50 for the Inglis Millenium while Encountabull is the second pick at $6 in the fourteen horse field.
Encountabull will be having his first start since finishing second to Wild Ruler with James McDonald in the saddle in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick on December 14.
McDonald was also aboard the Bull Point colt for a win in a 1045m Randwick barrier trial on January 23 and recommended to Sargent to put the blinkers on Encountabull for the Inglis Millennium.
“James thought that when he got to the front in that trial, he was looking around so we have added blinkers for Saturday and he will run in them for the first time,” Sargent told Sky Racing’ s Racing HQ.
“He is a colt and colts can be a bit like that. They can sometimes just do what they want to do.”
“I put them on and we gave him a jump out on Friday at Randwick and he flew the gates. So he is in good form.”
“He will be out there doing his best but we know how good the favourite is, because it is favourite for the Slipper, but anything can happen in two year old races.”
Sargent is pleased that Encountabull has drawn in close at barrier two and is quietly confident that the colt will handle a wet track with Warwick Farm rated a Soft 7 on Tuesday with more rain expected in Sydney leading up to the weekend.
“That is good (barrier two). You like to get a good draw with a horse so very happy to have that,” Sargent said.
“I have a bit of a gut feeling that he will handle it (wet track). He has a long high action and he quite a light stepping colt, he is not a heavy colt. I know he will hit the line. He is a trier.”
Sargent has given Encountabull a similar preparation heading into the Inglis Millennium as he had in the lead up to his last start second at Randwick.
“I followed the same path as he had last start when he had the one trial and then he ran fourth at Moonee Valley. He then had a few days out and then he had another trial and ran second at Randwick,” Sargent said.
“He then had a few days out and had a trial the other day.”