Magnapal has secured ballot-free entry into this year’s Caulfield Cup after completing a strong all-round performance for success in the featured Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield Racecourse this afternoon.
Magnapal had not tasted anything but success in this two starts this time prior to the Naturalism Stakes and was offered an ideal platform to continue the purple patch from the ideal barrier 7 with a weighting of only 54kgs.
Jumping well and settled just off the early pace by jockey Luke Currie, the Magnus gelding received an ideal run in transit one off the fence with cover and loomed as a serious threat alongside a number of his opponents leading into the final straight.
Producing an impressive turn of foot, Magnapal locked in a late pace battle with the Ciaron Maher-trained Kapour but managed to edge clear and withstand a late charge from Macedon Lodge runner The United States to post a career-best victory to date.
Currie was pleased to partner Magnapal to success in the 2015 Naturalism Stakes but revealed it was not all smooth sailing for the horse on the way to victory.
“He jumped brilliantly but lost his back-end and that might have fired him up a little bit,” Currie said.
“He just pulled a touch in the run but he had a nice run.
“He wasn’t quite as sharp as what he has been – he took a little bit to get through his gears but he was solid through the line.
“I’d like to thank the connections because the three wins on this horse has sort of got me back going after having a fair bit of time off.”
Trainer Terry O’Sullivan was beside himself with Magnapal’s win in the Naturalism Stakes and subsequent berth in the Caulfield Cup, and believes Currie’s ride was key in this afternoon’s success.
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” O’Sullivan said after the race.
“He’s done a great job and for the owner he’s actually undefeated. I know that’s not going keep happening but at this stage I think he’s had five rides for five wins.
“It worked out perfectly. Luke said before the race he didn’t want to get trapped on the fence … he said he if the pace is genuine one pair back wouldn’t worry him and that’s exactly how the race played out.
“He’s a tough horse. He fought hard at Sandown when he won and the other day when he beat Robert’s mare (Iggimacool, Listed Heatherlie Stakes) here he turned a corner and has got a real good will to win, he’s really going great.”
O’Sullivan confirmed Magnapal will likely contest one more race prior to the 2015 Caulfield Cup, and underlined the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 2nd as the probable stepping stone.
“I’ll go home and have a good think about it – he may run at Moonee Valley in the JRA Cup and then go into the Caulfield Cup.
“He’d probably want a run before he goes to the Caulfield Cup. To go to the mile and a half I would think he’d need another solid gallop.”
The United States continued to press his claims as one to following through the Spring Carnival with his hard-fought second in the Naturalism Stakes.