Trainer Chris Waller rates Liberty Island a genuine winning chance in the 2015 Magic Millions Guineas and he is confident the gelding will finish in the top three in the $1 million event at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Liberty Island was purchased for just $40,000 at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and he made a slow start to his racing career; failing to break through for a maiden race win in his first three starts in August of last year.
The son of Statue Of Liberty was gelded at the conclusion of his winter campaign and he returned to racing with a fourth place finish in the Schweppes Plate (1200m) at Canterbury on December 3 and finished second behind the talented Gold Seventy Seven in the Place Multi Handicap (1250m) at the same venue on December 17.
Liberty Island finally broke through for his first race win when he stormed home late to win the James Boag’s Premium Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day and, on the strength of that performance, Waller believes that the three-year-old can produced another strong performance in the 2015 Magic Millions Guineas.
“He gapped them,” Waller said of Liberty Island’s win at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day.
“He is drawn wide, but if we do get some more showers and the track is slow to heavy then that shouldn’t be too much of a disadvantage and they will be coming down the middle of the track.
“It is not a strong Magic Millions Guineas and hence the reason that he is here.
“We think that he can run in the first three and it would be nice to think that he can win.”
Another horse that Waller believes is capable of running a big race at the Gold Coast tomorrow is Strawberry Boy, who will contest the Magic Millions Cup over 1400 metres.
Strawberry Boy has performed well in the Listed Ladies Day Cup (1400m), Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) and Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) since returning to the races and Waller believes that the Redoute’s Choice gelding is capable of overcoming the heavy impost of 59 kilograms in the Magic Millions Cup.
“He has 59 kilos, but it is a good draw and that will offset it a little bit,” Waller said.
“Damian Browne is a good Queensland rider and he knows the track, which I think is important.
“His runs have been terrific and he freshened up nicely into this race on Saturday.”
Liberty Island is available at 2015 Magic Millions Guineas odds of $10, while Strawberry Boy is favourite in Magic Millions Cup betting markets.