A passable performance in last Saturday’s Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast has convinced trainer Andrew Noblet to press ahead to the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic over the same track and distance with Old Trieste Saturday week.
The two-year-old Hinchinbrook colt failed to break his maiden status at start number three on December 27, but the Caulfield-based Noblet saw enough in the youngster’s run to suggest improvement in the January 10 classic.
“He was nice and bright this morning so we’re pushing on to two weeks’ time,” Noblet told Racing Victoria on Tuesday morning.
Old Trieste debuted at Flemington on November 8 with a brave second behind Prompt Return after working through near the inside drawing close to the winner in a fair first-up effort in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m).
A fortnight later he contested the $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) racing the Queensland way at Ballarat.
He missed the kick however and was caught back early before taking a run on the inside to save ground.
Jockey Stephen Baser, also aboard for the horse’s debut, had him wide on the turn but while the horse tried hard he was never a winning chance eventually crossing four lengths away fourth behind smart filly Carriages.
Then last weekend Baster was replaced in the saddle by Jim Byrne and blinkers came off Old Trieste for the first time as he went back to Group 3 company for his maiden Queensland run in the B.J. McLachlan.
Running on a Soft (7) track, his first go on rain-affected ground, the up-and-comer wasn’t electric but also wasn’t disgraced when five lengths away fourth to upset winner Mishani Honcho who beat home the odds-on favourite Wicked Intent by two lengths.
“He was five weeks between runs on Saturday and hit a heavy track for the first time and although he didn’t get through it as well as he should have, the jockey was happy with him and he will stick on him for the Magic Millions,” Noblet confirmed.
Wicked Intent eased out to $5.50 co-favouritism with Claudia Jean at Ladbrokes in their futures markets for the Magic Millions Classic after the loss, while Old Trieste can be found further down the odds at $26 to improve in the lucrative restricted race.
Old Trieste currently sits 12th on the Magic Millions Classic order of entry and so is assured of a run.