I am The General can overcome wide gate in Magic Millions 2yo Classic

By: Mark Mazzaglia
January 7th, 2014

A wide barrier draw will see jockey Jake Noonan revise his riding tactics on I Am The General when they line up in the $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic(1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Jake Noonan to ride I Am The General in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic.

Jake Noonan to ride I Am The General in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic. Photo by Taron Clarke.

Noonan was hoping to draw inside gate ten for the Shane Nichols trained I Am The General but will jump from barrier twelve in the sixteen horse field.

I Am The General originally drew barrier fifteen but with three of the five emergencies drawing inside off him, he will move in to a slightly better gate.

“If he draws a gate inside ten, I think he’s going to be right there at the finish,” Noonan said before the official barrier drew today.

But I Am The General has shown natural early pace at his two race starts giving Noonan options to push ahead towards the leaders or try to slot in just behind the pace.

“One of the best things about him is that he doesn’t have to lead, he can take a sit because he’s so adaptable,” Noonan said.

I Am The General is by first season sire I Am Invincible and has a third and a win from two race starts beside his name.

Noonan has been aboard the two year old at both his starts with the pair finishing third on debut to Sheer Style in the $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) at Ballarat November 24 before leading all of the way to win over 1000m down the Flemington straight on December 14.

“He’s definitely improved since the Flemington win,” Noonan said.

“The form coming out of the race has been good with Chivalry since winning impressively at Moonee Valley.”

Nichols is also hoping for a bold showing from I Am The General to give his training career a boost after almost giving it away three years ago.

“I contemplated walking away from the game but I thought what am I going to do,” Nichols told The Courier-Mail.

“It would be amazing to win it and opportunities to win races like this don’t come around very often.”

I Am The General is the only Magic Millions purchase for Nichols at last year’s sales and to just get a start in the $2m race is a great achievement.

“He was passed in and within five minutes I went back and offered them $35,000. I knew the reserve price was around $40,000 and I managed to get him,” Nichols said.

I Am The General has drifted slightly in Magic Millions 2yo Classic betting after drawing out wide and is now a $13 chance alongside of the Gai Waterhouse trained Cyclone.

The Bjorn Baker trained Unencumbered remains the favourite at $4 after drawing gate three with Invisible from the Team Hawkes stable the second pick at $5.

Local filly Oakleigh Girl is still in the betting at $10 and will get a good run from gate six while Victorian colt Nordic Empire has drifted out to $11 after coming up with barrier nineteen in the original field of sixteen plus five emergencies.

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