Trainer Danny O’Brien believes that promising filly Lassies Venture needs to improve significantly to have any chance of winning the 2014 Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Classic at Ballarat on Saturday.
Lassies Venture made her racing debut with a tough win over Elite Joy and Superdisco in the Apco Service Stations Maiden (1135m) at Geelong on September 26, but she tired badly in the final stages of the Hygain Handicap (1200m) at Ballarat on October 23 to beat home just a single runner.
O’Brien admits that Lassies Venture has not shown that she is good enough to win a race like the Magic Millions 3YO Classic, but he told Racing Ahead that he was happy to give the Nicconi filly a chance in the $100,000 race that has not drawn a particularly strong field of three-year-olds.
“She was poor second start and she won her maiden in good enough style,” O’Brien said.
“It is an $100,000 race and it is restricted; most of them are 68 raters.
“She is in there for a throw at the stumps, but she needs to improve significantly on what she did last start.”
Lassies Venture has been settled just behind the speed in her two race starts to date and is a chance of being pushed forward again after she was allocated barrier 11 at the Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Classic barrier draw.
O’Brien said that he will not be giving jockey James Winks any firm instructions and is happy to let the talented hoop assess the circumstances of the race before deciding where to position Lassies Venture in the early stages of the race.
“I will leave that up to James,” O’Brien.
“He has a drawn a bit awkward and we will just see what he has got in the first furlong.”
No horse in the 2014 Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Classic field has an official rating of over 68 and Matthew Williams-trained Reigning Meteor is the only horse in the field that has any form at stakes level.
Reigning Meteor started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a credible eighth behind Get The Nod in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 16 and he returned to winning form at Ararat on October 14 before finished a close fourth behind Risen From Doubt in the Flemington Fling Stakes (1000m) on Melbourne Cup Day.
Lassies Venture is currently available at Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Classic odds of $31, while Reigning Meteor is a clear favourite at a quote of $3.