The Group 2 $175,000 Bollinger Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben on May 9 will be the Winter Carnival starting point for Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner Le Chef.
Le Chef’s main Winter target will be the Group 1 $600,000 BMW Australia J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Doomben on June 6 and trainer Darryl Hansen will then put the Exceed And Excel youngster away before preparing him of the 2016 Magic Millions Carnival at the Gold Coast in January.
“He won’t be going to Melbourne,” Hansen told The Courier-Mail.
“We will put him away after the Winter Carnival and give him a nice long spell and set him for the Magic Millions three-year-old race next year.”
Hansen is looking forward to Le Chef’s return to the racetrack next week and is expecting him to be very competitive over the Carnival.
“I think if he comes back to the races as good as he went out, he will give a couple of very good Winter Carnival races a real shake,” Hansen said.
“He gives me the impression he will be a terrific 1400m-1600m horse.”
Hansen will step Le Chef up in distance along the way to the J.J. Atkins and after the Champagne Classic will head to the Group 2 $250,000 Mitavite Australia BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 23.
Le Chef is undefeated from three race starts and will be meeting his Magic Millions’ rival Wicked Intent again in the Champagne Classic
The Chris Munce trained Wicked Intent was set to kick off his Winter Carnival campaign in the Group 3 $125,000 Moreton Hire Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast last Saturday but had to be scratched because of a minor hoof injury.
Munce will now head to the Champagne Classic and is hoping to follow a similar path as Le Chef to the J.J. Atkins.
Wicked Intent was also a winner at his first three starts before suffering his first defeat when second to Mishani Honcho in the Group 3 $150,000 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on December 27.
The Wicked Style colt was then sent out the favourite for the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January but couldn’t make up enough ground in the straight to finish sixth to Le Chef.