Husson Eagle has drifted out to 2016 Magic Millions Sprint odds of $4.80, but trainer Patrick Payne remains confident that the consistent sprinter will run well in the $1 million race at the Gold Coast tomorrow.
Husson Eagle opened at a quote of $4.20 when the Magic Millions Sprint field was released earlier in the week, but he has been the big drifter as the support has come for the in-form Didntcostalot ($4 into $3.80) and the speedy Rocky King ($31 into $21).
The Husson gelding returned to the races with an unlucky fifth behind Murt The Flirt in the Magic Millions Classic (1100m) at Ballarat on November 21 and he found the line strongly when third behind Rule The River and Voilier in the ATC Farewells A Thomas Handicap (1000m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day, but Payne admits that he wished Husson Eagle would have been able to receive an additional weeks break in the lead-up to the 2016 Magic Millions Sprint.
“The heat-off meeting may have put us back a little bit, he likes three weeks between runs and maybe even four or five weeks,” Payne told Racing Ahead.
“He is going into this race with two weeks and he will still run well, but I think he is a bit better when he is three or four weeks in between.
“He doesn’t really like the soft ground, so he did a good job to run third (last start), and at his first-up run he didn’t have a lot of luck in the straight.”
Husson Eagle has generally been ridden as a backmarker during his racing career to date and he has an impressive turn-of-foot when ridden cold, but Payne believes that jockey Michelle Payne will have plenty of options when the four-year-old jumps from barrier four and she could elect to settle him slightly closer to the speed in the early stages of the Magic Millions Sprint.
“He likes cover and being able to have a resting run,” Payne said
“Whether he is just behind the speed or he is back a little bit further, it will just depend on how quick the rest of the field are going.”
Husson Eagle is now on the third line of the 2016 Magic Millions Sprint betting market with Ladbrokes, while last start winner Didntcostalot ($3.80) is a clear favourite from Doveton Stakes winner Wild Rain ($4.60).