Jockey Chris Munce is confident that 2015 Magic Millions Classic favourite Wicked Intent can deliver him a fairytale finish to his riding career at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Munce made the surprise announcement yesterday that he would retire from riding to start a new career as a jockey following the Magic Millions meeting this weekend, but he is still concentrating on what is a strong book of rides at the Gold Coast.
The leading jockey has been booked to ride Wicked Intent for father-in-law Barry Mitchell in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic and Munce was brimming in praise for the Wicked Style colt, who recorded dominant wins in the Breakfast Creek Hotel Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on November 29 and the Listed Phelan Ready (1050m) at the same venue on December 13.
Wicked Intent suffered a surprise defeat to Mishani Honcho in the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on December 27, but Munce believes the two-year-old had plenty of excuses for the defeat and can return to winning form in the Magic Millions Classic.
“I think that he is very good,” Munce told Racing Ahead this morning.
“He got beaten the other day, but it was a very heavy track and it was his first go at the 1200.
“He got softened early a little bit by a couple of no hopers and that made his job a little bit tougher.
“He has certainly come on very well since then and he is very fit.
“Come Saturday he is there to run the race of his life.”
Wicked Intent has been ridden close to the speed in his four race starts to date, but Munce revealed that he does not necessarily plan to press forward on the colt in the early stages of the Magic Millions Classic.
Munce said that he will access the early pace of the race when Wicked Intent jumps from barrier five and believes the juvenile has the versatility to settle wherever he is comfortable in the $2 million event.
“It is hard to say and I will just let the race unfold.
“He is a bombproof sort of two-year-old and you can put him wherever you want.
“If he has to lead, he has to lead but he is very tractable in that sense and I will just let him be happy where he wants to be.”
Wicked Intent is currently available at 2015 Magic Millions Classic odds of $6 and is locked in a battle for favouritism with Frequendly with Ladbrokes Australia.