Echo Gal Still A Chance For Magic Millions Classic

By: Thomas Hackett
January 3rd, 2014

Echo Gal remains a chance to contest the 2014 Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 11 and will trial in front of Racing Queensland stewards tomorrow.

Tommy Berry remains confident that Echo Gal is a winning chance in the Magic Millions Classic.

Tommy Berry remains confident that Echo Gal is a winning chance in the Magic Millions Classic. Photo by: Steve Hart

Echo Gal was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben last Saturday and finished a most disappointing eighth but was found to be suffered from the thumps after the race.

It looked as though a tilt at the $2 million Magic Millions Classic was not possible for the daughter of Stratum but she impressed Gai Waterhouse stable foreman Mark Newnham with her performance at trackwork on Friday.

Echo Gal requires stewards approval before she is cleared to return to the races but Racing Queensland Chief Steward Wade Birch has agreed to allow the filly to gallop in front of stewards rather than compete in a jump out.

“Mrs Waterhouse made a request for Mark Newnham to have the horse gallop in front of the stewards on Saturday given it is a two-year-old going into a $2 million race the following Saturday and we acceded to that request,” Birch told TVN.

“Making the horse jump out on a Tuesday then back up on the Saturday would not do the punters or the connections of the horse any good.

“After she gallops we will have her checked out by our vet and if there are no issues she will be right to race.”

Echo Gal stormed into Magic Millions favouritism with a dominant four lengths victory in the TAB Rewards Plate (1000m) at Warwick Farm on December 11 but is now available at the lucrative odds of $16; with B.J. McLachlan Stakes winner Unencumbered ($4.60) now a clear favourite.

Punters may doubt the juveniles’ chances in the 2014 Magic Millions Classic but jockey Tommy Berry, who rode Echo Gal on debut, is still hopeful that she can give him his third win in four years in the prestigious event.

“I couldn’t be happier with Echo Gal, she felt strong and looked in great condition,” Berry told News Limited after riding the filly earlier in the week.

“She wasn’t sour, she was keen and her action was perfect; she felt just like she did before winning her first race start.

“If Gai Waterhouse decides to keep going to the Magic Millions, I’d be more than happy to ride the filly.”

The 2014 Magic Millions Classic final field will be released at the start of next week.

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