Magic Millions 2yo Classic runner up Pepperano is set to make amends in the $150,000 Coastline BMW Racing Minister’s 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
The Liam Birchely trained Pepperano ran a brave race when beaten three quarters of a length when second to Le Chef in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast last Saturday.
And Birchley is adamant that the Court Command filly is in better shape this week than she was leading into the last week’s contest.
“She was probably about 10 per cent short of her peak but I’m not saying she would have won even if she was at her top,” Birchley told Racing Queensland News.
“It was an enormous run considering she had to sit three and four deep and didn’t get a suck run like the winner.
“She needed the run at her previous start at Toowoomba when she ran fourth. She did too well when she was out in the paddock having a short break.”
Peppperano picked up the runner’s up cheque of $300,000 plus another $100,000 Racing Woman’s Bonus for being the second fully woman owned two year old across the line and even though this Saturday’s prizemoney is nowhere near that, a win would be a sweet consolation.
A win this Saturday would see Pepperano pick up another $96,000 plus a winning QTIS bonus of $24,500 and even though winners can be grinners, the $1.14 million first prize of the Magic Millions 2yo Classic plus the winning Racing Woman’s Bonus of $325,000 would have looked pretty sitting in their back account.
While Birchley is confident that Pepperano can do the job this week, he also knows that the race has to be run and won and is always wary of his opposition, especially when champion Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse has runners in the race.
“But I notice Gai Waterhouse has a couple entered for the race so I guess you have to respect her runners,” Birchley said.
“I’m happy with my filly. She’s improved since Saturday’s run in the Magic Millions.”
Top Brisbane rider Damian Browne partnered Pepperano at the Gold Coast and has retained the ride and is certain to give the filly a perfect run from barrier six.
The Waterhouse fillies had mixed results at the barrier draw with Right Of Way with Tegan Harrison to ride coming up with gate four while New Wings, to be ridden by Tim Bell, will jump from gate thirteen.
Denman filly Right Of Way missed gaining a start in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic after finishing fifth in the Group 3 $150,000 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on December 27 while New Wings, a filly by Choisir, is a winner of her only start in a 1000m Gosford two year old maiden on December 29.