Rare Occurrence will go into the 2016 Magic Millions Classic without a race start since October, but trainer Stuart Kendrick remains confident that the promising filly can perform strongly in the $2 million event at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Rare Occurrence made her racing debut with a classy victory in the Coca Cola Life Plate (1050m) at Doomben on October 3 and Kendrick immediately turned his attention to running the Star Witness filly in the Magic Millions Classic.
She was set to return to the races three weeks ago, but Kendrick elected not to run her after she suffered a minor strain muscle and he resisted the temptation to give he a start in the Yalumba Handicap (1000m) at the Sunshine Coast last weekend.
Kendrick admits that Rare Occurrence has not had an ideal preparation for the 2016 Magic Millions Classic, but he told Racing Ahead that he is happy with the condition of the juvenile and believes she is forward enough to run a big race this weekend.
“We had a few little setbacks along the way, but I am happy with where she is at now,” Kendrick said.
“We won the race first-up and gave her a couple of weeks in the paddock and a couple of weeks on the water-walker.
“I planned to run her three weeks ago as a lead-up, but she just had a little strain over her hind muscle and rather than take the risk and push on to that race I decided to give her an easy race and trial her.
“It wasn’t ideal going into a $2 million race, but she is a tough filly and a very clean-winded filly, so it hasn’t seemed to put her back too far.
“Her work yesterday was terrific and it is all systems go towards Saturday now.”
Rare Occurrence was settled just behind the speed when she scored her debut win and Kendrick is hopeful that jockey Brad Stewart will be able to find a similar position for the filly when she jumps from barrier 13 in the Magic Millions Classic on Saturday.
“It will probably just depend now on what happens with the track,” Kendrick said.
“We have a fine day now at the Gold Coast and that is probably going to get some drying weather into the track.
“The Gold Coast track can be a little bit funny when it is wet and the inside may not be the best place to be.
“I would love to see her sitting in fifth or sixth with a bit of cover and try to get to the middle of the track.”
Rare Occurrence is currently available at 2016 Magic Millions Classic odds of $51 with Ladbrokes, while Capitalist ($1.75) remains a clear favourite from Nikitas ($10), Zelady’s Night Out ($10) and Niccolance ($11).