Rookie trainer Chris Munce is confident that his star two year old Wicked Intent will be fit to run first up in the Group 2 $175,000 Bollinger Champaign Classic (1200m) at Doomben on May 9.
Munce was forced to scratch Wicked Intent from the Group 3 $125,000 Moreton Hire Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast last Saturday after the colt shifted a plate causing a slight hoof injury.
The former champion jockey said that he had no choice but to delay the start of the speedy youngster’s Winter Carnival campaign but is confident he will be right to run in a fortnight.
“I’ll give him a thousand metre gallop in the morning and go to the Champagne first up,” Munce said.
“He is pretty clean winded.”
Wicked Intent was undefeated from his first three starts with wins at the Gold Coast and Doomben before he collected his first black type race with an all the way win in the Listed $100,000 Morgans Seafood Phelan Ready Stakes (1050m) at Doomben on December 13.
A tough run at the Gold Coast when second to Mishani Honcho in the Group 3 $150,000 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) two weeks later might have been enough for the smallish colt.
But he was still sent out the favourite for the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 10 but from barrier five Wicked Intent was unable to get into the race in the early stages but fought on well in the straight to be beaten just over two lengths to finish sixth behind Le Chef.
Wicked Intent’s Winter program will be aimed towards the Group 1 $600,000 BMW Australia J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Doomben on June 6 and Munce will get a better idea if he will be able to run the ‘mile’ as his campaign rolls along.
“I guess I’m still learning about him in that sense whether he’ll get out to a mile or if he’s a sprinter,” Munce said.
If Munce is of the opinion that Wicked Intent is only a short course horse he won’t push on and give him a break before preparing him for the Spring.
“If he shows me that he can’t get out to the mile I’ll probably only give him a couple of runs then put him out again and look at something in the spring,” Munce said.
“That would be another level again, he’d have to take that next step but when it comes to natural ability he’s got plenty.”
Wicked Intent has earned $226,400 in prizemoney for his connections from three wins and a second from five starts.