Gold Coast horseman Noel Doyle is hoping for a big run and win in Saturday’s $200,000 Group 3 Channel 7 George Moore Stakes (1200m) from Le Val as the summer sprinter looks to bank enough prize money for a Magic Millions Cup start in January.
A winner of four of his 13 career starts to date the lightly-raced five-year-old Snitzel gelding has amassed $208,300 in prize money with his campaigns plagued with injuries over the years.
That is not enough just yet to secure a start at home at the Gold Coast Racecourse on January 9 in the lucrative $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m), which Doyle has identified as the main summer target for Le Val.
“If everyone who says they are being aimed for the Millions Cup is coming, I think you could want $350,000 plus to get into the field,” Doyle told AAP this week.
“We aren’t the only ones in that boat as a lot of local horses will be chasing prize money to boost their chances of a start.”
Doyle also named next month’s Goldmarket Handicap on Boxing Day as Le Val’s next start before the big one on Magic Millions Day early next year.
Two runs into his career he won the Listed Keith Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast in 2013 before he suffered a fractured pelvis next run when crossing dead last in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ produce Stakes (1350m), 25 lengths off the winner Zoustar.
He has never been quite the same as he was for his promising debut, but Doyle is more than proud of how far he has come and what could still be possible.
Last seen running four and a half lengths away eighth behind the in-form Steel Zip in the Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) on November 14, this Saturday Le Val returns to Doomben Racecourse on the fortnight back-up stepping up in class after there were excuses last time out.
“He was a bit tardy out of the barriers and got shuffled back,” Doyel said of the Keith Noud run.
“He made up many lengths in the straight on a day where the front runners were usually the ones advantaged.”
He is one of 12 sprinters facing off in the opening leg of the Brisbane Summer Sprint Series Triple Crown, the George Moore Stakes running as Race 7 at 4:17pm (QLD time) on Saturday’s eight race card.
Drawn wide in barrier 10, the horse has apprentice hoop Beau Appo taking over for Michael Cahill in the saddle.
Cahill has ridden Le Val for his four latest wins including a win over Saturday’s track and distance when narrowly holding off Vienna Royale back in early August.
The jockey however jumps off in favour of one of the five Tony Gollan-trained George Moore Stakes runners this weekend, 2012 The Galaxy winner Temple Of Boom who carries the 59.5kg top weight from barrier three.
Le Val meanwhile gets in on the 54kg minimum, the same weight he carried for the disappointing Keith Noud result with Doyle set to instruct Beau to take the horse up closer in the running.
“I will tell Beau to try to get Le Val out more sharply on Saturday so he can take a closer position in the run.”
From nine previous Doomben starts the sprinter has won two, placed second twice and posted a third place finish to give him a solid track he returns to for the Group 3 run this weekend.
It will be his first Group race assignment since he failed to beat home any of his 17 rivals crossing nearly eight lengths away 18th behind Sir Moments at Eagle Farm in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) as a three-year-old back in May last year.
While the form doesn’t read as winning, Doyle remains hopeful of a big George Moore Stakes effort from his $16 outsider in the latest markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
It is a super tight George Moore Stakes betting market this season with three equal $5.50 favourites led by Temple Of Boom.
His fit stablemate Didntcostalot is also at the top of the odds with three wins from his four last starts, all the victories posted at Doomben, with Tegan Harrison retaining the ride.
Kelly Schweida’s class Monashee Mountain mare Miss Cover Girl is the other top fancy coming off a close Sydney third at Randwick in Group 3 company before her recent Deagon trial win.
While the form is good for four-year-old Miss Cover Girl, who also has a nice Doomben track record (9-2-2-2), even her trainer holds concerns about her chances from the outside barrier 12 draw.