Trainer Bryan Guy has confirmed that classy filly Stroak will wear blinkers for the first time in the 2014 Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Stroak has performed well in three starts since making her racing debut, winning the Teldaco Handicap (1020m) and the Duporth Tavern Handicap (1200m) before finishing second in the Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m), and Guy is hopeful that the addition of blinkers will give her the edge she needs in the $2 million event this Saturday.
“She has come through it terrific and we are really happy with her,” Guy told Racing Ahead this morning.
“We have put blinkers on her for Saturday, which we intended to do the entire time.
“Michael Cahill has always said that she will be better with blinkers on her and we have waited until the grand final to do that.”
Stroak went into the B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on December 28 as one of the outsiders in the nine horse field, but ran home strongly to finish second behind Magic Millions Classic favourite Unencumbered.
Guy was delighted with the performance of the Real Saga filly and believes that her effort was even more impressive than it looks on paper.
“She got flattened out of the barriers when she jumped and Michael dug her up to get her into a nice spot,” Guy said.
“She was only a length and a half from Unencumbered but then the horse of Kelly Schweida’s (Totally Sure) ran off the track and took her out.
“She lost two lengths and then she was three deep from then on.
“Around the corner Saratoga pushed her out again and she was about eight deep but she just kept on finding the line.
“Her run was terrific.”
Stroak drew gate 14 at the 2014 Magic Millions Classic barrier draw on Tuesday and Guy remains hopeful that she will get a good run into the race before finishing with a strong burst in the final 300 metres.
“There is a lot of speed that has drawn inside and there is a lot of speed that has drawn outside,” Guy said.
“If they jump and they run along, then I see her about midfield and I just hope that we can get a nice clear run, one off the fence.
“I will leave it all up to Michael and hopefully she can get on the back of them coming into the corner with a bit of room to finish off.”
Guy is chasing his first victory at the Magic Millions Meeting since he took out the 2009 edition of the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) with Masai Pride.