Magic Millions Classic Barrier Pivotal for Perignon

By: Lucy Henderson
December 29th, 2014

Trainer Gerald Ryan is hoping for the right barrier for his smart filly Perignon in Saturday week’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast after her victory at Canterbury over the weekend.

Gerald Ryan

Trainer Gerald Ryan will saddle-up Perignon in the 2015 Magic Millions 2YO Classic on January 10 at the Gold Coast. Photo: Daniel Costello.

The two-year-old Snitzel filly debuted at Wyong in the $202,200 Wyong Magic millions 2YO Classic (1100m) but was slow from the barriers and hampered during the early stages eventually crossing two and a half lengths away fourth to Zoutenant from the ruck of the field.

She then backed up nine days later at Canterbury in the $85,000 TAB Rewards Plate (1200m) going up in distance and relishing the easier assignment when beating home the Clarry Conners-trained Look To The Stars by a quarter length.

Brenton Avdulla had the ride over the weekend, replacing Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, and from an outside barrier 10 of 11 draw settled Perignon off the speed.

It proved a winning position for the up-and-comer who was able to work her way through the field from third last and salute to break her maiden status.

She now looks on track for a shot at the lucrative $2 million Gold Cost Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on January 10 up in Queensland, a race Ryan has had her targeting all along.

Futures Magic Millions 2YO Classic betting at Ladbrokes is currently led by impressive Flemington winner on debut back on December 20 Claudia Jean and Barry Mitchell’s Phelan Ready Stakes champ Wicked Intent at $5.50 each.

Perignon meanwhile also pays single figures to win the feature at a quote of around $8 after her victory, a deserving price according to Ryan who rates her a very versatile filly.

He believes the Magic Millions 2YO Classic barrier draw is crucial to her chances in the summer showdown, but doesn’t believe she needs to come from behind to win.

“Brenton (Avdulla) said yesterday that if she had drawn a barrier she could have settled in the first five or six,” Ryan told TVN on Sunday.

“I know she is not brilliantly quick and she is going to get back and that’s why the draw is important.

“You’ve just got to hope they overdo it up front.”

Ryan also has Aerobar on track for a run at the Gold Coast on Magic Millions Race Day, the Flying Spur filly targeting the $1 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m).

Winner of the $101,500 Wyong Magic Millions 3YO Stakes (1200m) from December 18 over Echo Gal (2nd) and Cyclone (3rd), she is a $13 shot in the futures markets for the Gold Coast edition led by Group 3 Vo Rouge runner-up at the Gold Coast last Saturday Hijack Hussy ($3.60).

A decision meanwhile is pending on which race his Mossman four-year-old Dothraki will contest on the Gold Coast that day following the gelding’s third behind Barbed in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m).

His options are the $200,000 Open Sprint (1100m) or a step up in distance for the $400,00 Magic Millions Cup (1400m).

“His five runs this time in have been really consistent,” Ryan said.

“I’ve got a bit of a push to run him in the 1400 (metres). If he gets 1400 (metres) by the way we’ve been riding him a race like the Stradbroke could come into play.”

The $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) is Queensland’s richest race and will run next year during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival on June 6 at Doomben Racecourse.

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