James McDonald has a great chance to win his first Jeep $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday and go one better than last year when beaten in a tight photo finish by Real Surreal.
McDonald was aboard the Gai Waterhouse trained Sweet Idea in 2013 and had to settle for the runner’s up cheque when Michael Cahill sliced in between runners on Real Surreal to get the judge’s nod.
This year the top Kiwi jockey will be on Invisible from the Team Hawkes stable and is certain the All American colt will be right in the finish.
McDonald rode Invisible to victory at his only race start over 1200m at Canterbury on December 28 and has formed a high opinion of the youngster.
“I have no doubt he is going to be a good horse win, lose or draw and he will make a better three year old then he is now,” McDonald told the Sportsman.
“He was very good at Canterbury. He’s till green but he is very quiet, relaxed type of dude and he took it in his stride.”
“The main thing is he jumped out well and puts himself in a position where can win.”
“He won really well, they have big raps on the second and third horses and he beat then very easily as well.”
Even though Invisible did everything right on debut McDonald is certain that the youngster will take plenty of benefit from his first outing.
“With that race day experience under his belt he’s going to be pretty tuned and ready for his big assignment,” McDonald said.
Co trainer Michael Hawkes agrees with McDonald that Invisible still has plenty of improvement left in him, especially as a three year old next season.
“Two weeks ago he wasn’t even in the field and in Sydney he had to win and win convincingly to book his ticket to get here,” Hawkes said.
“He has done that and he has just gone forward. He just keeps improving.”
McDonald is in a great position to win both feature races on Saturday and will again be on Sweet Idea who is one of the main chances in the Gold Coast $1m Magic Millions 3yo Guineas (1400m).
After finishing second in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic last year, Jim Cassidy took over the reins in the Autumn and Sweet idea went on to win the Group 2 $200,000 Patinack Farm Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill before running third to stablemate Overreach in the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill.
McDonald was then reunited with the Snitzel filly beating Weinholt in the $100,000 Wyong Magic Millions 3yo Stakes (1200m) at Wyong on December 19 at her first run this preparation and he has retained the ride on Saturday.
“She was big in condition, she set a good tempo and won reasonably well,” McDonald said.
“I think the second horse, Weinholt, will be hard to beat but she only had one good trial and went straight into that race.”
Invisible is currently second favourite at $5.50 behind Unencumbered ($3.70) in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic while Sweet Idea is also on the second line of betting in the Magic Millions 3yo Guineas at $5 behind the $4.60 favourite Enquare.