Rookie trainer Chris Munce is keen on the chances of his smart colt Wicked Intent when he runs first up in the Group 2 $175,000 Bollinger Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Wicked Intent was due to kick off his Winter Carnival campaign two weeks ago in the Group 3 $125,000 Moreton Hire Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast but Munce had to scratch the Wicked Style colt after he twisted a plate and damaged part of his hoof.
Munce has reported that the colt has fully recovered from the setback and he is expecting him to be right in the firing line.
“He is a clean winded horse so I would like to think he will be hard to beat no matter what,” Munce told the Sportsman.
“I can’t fault him, he seems very well at the moment.”
“He is going well and fingers crossed he can do the job for us.”
Whatever Wicked Intent does on the weekend Munce expects him to take a lot of benefit from the run as he heads towards the Group 1 $600,000 BMW Australia J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Doomben on June 6.
“Since he missed a run two weeks ago he will improve a lot on whatever he does,” Munce said.
Wicked Intent won his first race start in October over 900m at the Gold Coast before being tipped out for a break.
On his return in the Summer the flashy chestnut was impressive with two Doomben wins before suffering his first defeat when second to Mishani Honcho in the Group 3 $150,000 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on December 27.
He then ran sixth to Le Chef in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 10 and Munce was happy with the run.
“I thought he ran fantastic in the Magic Millions for a horse that was probably at the end of his prep, in fairness to him. He battled on well and was only beaten a couple of lengths.”
Munce was Wicked Intent’s regular rider before he hung up his saddle to take up training in January and Damian Browne will take over the reins in the Champagne Classic.
Wicked Intent showed in the past that he has plenty of pace out of the barriers and will have to put that to test on Saturday after drawing gate twelve in the fifteen horse field.
Wicked Intent will be clashing again with Le Chef who fared a lot better in the barrier draw, coming up with gate two.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Sempre Libera heads the market order for the Champagne Classic at $4 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Le Chef at $6 and Chris Waller’s Counterattack at $8 while Wicked Intent is marked as a $10 chance.
Champagne Classic market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Sempre Libera, $6 Le Chef, $8 Counterattack, $9 Secret Saga, $10 Wicked Intent, Sampeah, $11 Single Gaze, $14 Blueberry Hill, $15 Pepperano, Madotti, $18 Desert Man, $19 Look To The Stars, $16 Big Tree, $81 It’s Vegas Baby $101 De Lago Jet.