Claro El Banco is one of the extreme outsiders in 2016 Magic Millions Classic betting markets, but trainer Jason Petch is confident that the promising gelding can produce an improved performance in the feature race at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Claro El Banco did not beat a horse home when he made his racing debut in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on October 4, but he stamped himself as horse to watch when he led from start to finish in the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) at Ballarat on November 21.
The Statue Of Liberty gelding was unable to replicate that performance in the Wyong Magic Millions Classic (1100m) on December 17 and he tired late to finish seventh, but Petch told Racing Ahead that he did not have Claro El Banco wound up for the race and he believes that the two-year-old is much fitter ahead of the Magic Millions Classic this weekend.
“After he won at Ballarat I did put a few kilos on him to make sure that he got the trip up the eastern seaboard,” Petch said.
“He went into that race a bit underdone and we knew that he was always going to be a bit susceptible.
“Froggy had to use him up a lot from that wide gate because he was slow to muster speed and he had pretty much run his race in the first 500 metres.
“He gave three good kicks on the corner, but Capitalist just went past him and he threw the tail in a bit.
“We are going to ride him a bit differently up here, but I am really happy with the horse.
“A lot of horses can come up to this warmer climate and they can thrive and he now looks like a piece of shiny copper – his coat is magnificent.”
While Petch is happy with the condition of Claro El Banco ahead of the Magic Millions Classic, he admits that he is concerned about the wet weather that has hit the Gold Coast in the past few days.
Petch is hopeful that the Gold Coast track will dry out significantly before the Magic Millions Classic, but he revealed that Claro El Banco would be scratched if the track remains in the heavy range.
“He trialed at Cranbourne on a heavy track and hated it,” Petch said.
“I actually trialed him here last Tuesday because we want to ride him differently in the race, so I wanted to get him in amongst a few and let him fly home, but the track was slow and he just didn’t handle it.
“It is raining here at the moment, but it is a very good drying track and all the locals are telling me that with three days of good weather this track will end up a good three.
“I don’t think it will be an issue, but if it does happen to sog up one of the emergencies will get a run because he has no hope if it is wet.”
Claro El Banco is currently available at 2016 Magic Millions Classic odds of $101 with Ladbrokes, while Capitalist ($1.80) remains a dominant favourite from Niccolance ($10), Zelady’s Night Out ($10) and Nikitas ($11).