One time favourite Oakleigh Girl is still the one to beat in the $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday according to top Melbourne rider Craig Newitt.
Newitt has ridden Oakleigh Girl at two of her three starts including a first up win over 1000m at Flemington during the Melbourne Spring Carnival and blames himself for the filly’s defeat when fourth to Unencumbered in the Group 3 $150,000 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on December 28.
The experienced Newitt admits that he made a mistake in trying to retain the lead before the Danny Bougoure trained filly faded to be beaten two lengths but is still very keen on her chances on Saturday.
“If she had a breather at any stage she would have won I’ve got no doubt about it and she would have went into this race even money,” Newitt told The Courier-Mail.
“She ran fourth and her run was still phenomenal but she goes into the race as a $10 chance.
“I wouldn’t swap her for anything and she is the best horse in the race.”
Newitt said that he is pleased connections have suck with him in the big race on Saturday and with hindsight he will be able to ride the Snitzel filly better after blaming himself for her Doomben defeat.
“I do feel responsible for it and I’m the one sitting on her,” Newitt said.
“But at the end the day it’s all very good in hindsight.
“Now I know her limitations we just have to draw a nice marble and if she leads she will lead but if they go hard she can take a sit off them.”
“Hopefully we can get the job done on Saturday and it can be the start of a good association.”
Oakleigh Girl has drifted in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic market order and is now a $11 chance while the Bjorn Baker trained Unencumbered heads the betting at $4 after making it three wins from his last three starts in the B.J. McLachlan Stakes after taking out the $200,000 Magic Millions Wyong 2yo Classic (1100m) at Wyong on December 19 and a win over 1000m on the Kensington track at his previous start.
Other youngsters in the betting are Canterbury winner Invisible at $6, Nordic Empire at $9, Geromayo and Stroak at $10 and I Am The General and Sagatona at $11.