Oliver To Ride Shiraz Attack In Magic Millions Guineas

By: Thomas Hackett
January 11th, 2014

In-form jockey Damien Oliver will ride Shiraz Attack in the Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast this afternoon after his original mount Salute To JudeĀ was scratched from the $1 million event.

Shiraz Attack will be ridden by Damien Oliver in the 2014 Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast this afternoon.

Shiraz Attack will be ridden by Damien Oliver in the 2014 Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast this afternoon. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Salute To Jude was withdrawn from the race yesterday afternoon because of an issue with his off fore ligament and Gillian Heinrich, the trainer of Shiraz Attack, was quick to secure the services of Oliver; with regular jockey Tim Bell already booked to ride Tinto in the Magic Millions Guineas.

Salute To Jude started his summer campaign with two impressive performances in the National Patient Transport Handicap (1000m) at Caulfield on December 7 and the Fiesta Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on December 21, but failed to fire in the Bat Out Of Hell (900m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Trainer Robert Smerdon said earlier in the week that he was happy with the condition of the Stratum gelding heading into the Magic Millions Guineas but was found to be sore and midly lame in a veterinary inspection at the Gold Coast yesterday.

Shiraz Attack has been in good form since returning to the races as a three-year-old in October and is currently rated a $11 chance in Magic Millions Guineas betting markets.

The Oratorio filly resumed with a narrow second place finish behind Magic Millions Guineas rival Splendora in the Landfill Logistics Maiden (1200m) at Doomben on October 9 and recorded her maiden race win with a dominant victory over Oosthuizen in the Grinders Coffee Plate (1350m) at the same venue a fortnight later.

Shiraz Attack made it back-to-back wins with another strong performance in the Paynter Dixon Handicap (1400m) and had no luck when third in the Bundaberg Distilling Company Handicap (1500m) at Eagle Farm on November 23.

The three-year-old needed to win the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m) to be assured of earning a start in the Magic Millions Guineas, but she was caught wide in the early stages of the race and finished fourth behind Enquare, Gundy Spirit and Missy Longstocking.

Enquare ($4.60) is currently a narrow favourite in 2014 Magic Millions Guineas betting markets, after recording four straight wins, from Wyong Magic Millions Stakes winner Sweet Idea ($5), the well-backed Weinholt ($8) and Gai Waterhouse-trained Northern Glory ($8.50).

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