Magic Millions Cup winner Spurtonic will be on trial for a start in the Doncaster Mile when he lines up in the Listed $100,000 Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse was banking on Spurtonic regaining his best form and was rewarded with the five year old finishing hard for Hugh Bowman to take out the $328,000 Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 10.
Waterhouse has always held a high opinion of the Flying Spur gelding and now that he has found the winner’s stall again will aim him for some bigger goals.
Waterhouse said that another strong performance in the Carrington Stakes would tempt her to aim Spurtonic towards the Group 1 $3m Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 4, the first day of the 2015 ‘The Championships’.
“He could be a lightweight chance in the Doncaster,’’ Waterhouse told The Daily Telegraph.
Waterhouse has already tested Spurtonic at Group 1 level during the 2013 Spring Carnival and the gelding ran a creditable fourth to Boban in the $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick and then ninth to the same Chris Waller trained galloper in the $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
And sandwiched in between was a win in the Group 3 $150,000 David Jones Cup (2000m) at Caulfield.
But because of injury Spurtonic had only been to the races on two occasions prior to his trip to the Gold Coast.
Spurtonic showed some of his old dash with a fifth to Monton over 1500m in the Sydney Markets Filante Handicap at Rosehill on October 14 last year before Waterhouse starting preparing him for the Magic Millions Cup with a series of barrier trials including a trial win over 1200m at Randwick on December 30 which boosted Waterhouse’s confidence heading to Queensland.
“I wouldn’t have put him on a float to Queensland if I didn’t think he was back to his best. It took me ages to get him back there,” Waterhouse said.
‘‘I said to the owners, ‘roll with me, I’d love to see him on the Gold Coast, and I know you’ll enjoy it because a few of you live up there’. But I wasn’t going to send him unless I thought he’d be competitive.’’
In form jockey Blake Shinn will be the new rider on Spurtonic after last start winning jockey Hugh Bowman elected to stick with the Peter and Paul Snowden trained That’s A Good Idea.
Shinn has had one ride on the five year old and recorded a win over 2000m in a BenchMark 80 at Randwick back in September 2013.
While Bowman is expecting That’s A Good Idea will continue to improve with two runs under his belt this campaign, an eighth in the Listed $100,000 Canterbury Classic (1200m) at Canterbury on December 27 and a second in the Listed $100,000 De Bortoli Wines Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford on January 9.
Spurtonic will jump from barrier eleven in the twelve horse Carrington Stakes field while That’s A Good Idea has drawn next to him at gate ten.