Brendan McCarthy is confident that his three-year-old gelding Murt The Flirt remains a top contender to win the $1 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) on January 10 and will press on to the Gold Coast despite a disappointing result at Wyong last Thursday.
Murt The Flirt won the Magic Millions 3YO Classic (1100m) at Ballarat Racecourse on debut last month, which set him on a course for the main event in January. The gelding was inconvenienced at the start but got into the clear 400 metres out. After displaying a good turn of foot, he drew clear on the line to win by one length.
However he was unable to display the same success last week in the Wyong Magic Millions 3YO Stakes (1200m), finishing just under two lengths behind winner Aerobar in fifth place.
It was Murt The Flirt’s first interstate run and McCarthy believes the gelding will benefit from more experience racing on clockwise tracks in the coming weeks, choosing to continue on with his original 2015 Magic Millions plans.
“The more I looked at the Wyong race, the happier I was with it,” McCarthy told Sky Racing last week following the race.
“He still has quite a bit of greenness there and we’ve still got the fact that he probably goes better with the blinkers on and we’ve got that up our sleeve, so I think we’re probably going to go into this race pretty right.
“If he didn’t have that bit of greenness yesterday I think he would have still finished a lot closer than he did.”
The gelding will wear blinkers in the 2015 Magic Millions 3YO Guineas and Brenton Avdulla has retained the ride.
Murt The Flirt is a $15 shot in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, for which Hijack Hussy is $4.80 favourite after winning the Listed Lexus Hybrid Plate (1400m) in November. Other single figure hopefuls include Testashadow ($8) and Deiheros ($9).