Jockey Nathan Berry will partner Unencumbered in a trackwork gallop at the Gold Coast tomorrow, in what will be the colt’s final piece of serious work before the $2 million 2014 Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Unencumbered stamped himself as the 2014 Magic Millions Classic betting favourite with an impressive win in the Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on December 28 and trainer Bjorn Baker told RSN this morning that the Testa Rossa colt had come out of the race in excellent condition.
“Tomorrow he is having his last gallop on the course proper and Nathan Berry is flying up to the Gold Coast today so we will get a good idea how he is,” Baker said.
“Everything has gone very well and he appears to be very well in himself.
“He has definitely taken no harm from his last run.
“I’ve said it time and time again but he just has a great constitution.
“He is very relaxed and all he does is eat, sleep and work.
“He is a very straightforward horse to train and, touch wood, he hasn’t had too many problems.
“As long as he comes through that gallop fine tomorrow we will head towards Saturday.”
Unencumbered has had five race starts since making his debut with a win in the Sharp Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on October 12 and will be the most experienced horse in the 2014 Magic Millions Classic field that will be released this afternoon.
Baker admits that it has been a risk giving Unencumbered so many starts in the lead-up to the $2 million event but believes that the amount of racing in his legs can give his star juvenile a fitness edge over the rest of the field.
“He won the Wyong race (Wyong Magic Millions Classic) and there is just that awkward time frame to the Magic Millions, there is three and a half weeks, so it was a little bit tricky whether you give him a run or not,” Baker said.
“It was a bit of a risk giving him a run at Doomben but I guess he has had a 1200 metre run now and a very tough 1200 metre run.
“He definitely has the miles in his race and it is going to be a hard run race on Saturday.
“Fitness wise he will be as good as any of them.”
The 2014 Magic Millions barrier draw will be conducted at the Gold Coast tomorrow morning and, like the majority of trainers with horses in the field, Baker is hoping that Unencumbered will draw an inside gate.
“I’ve never had a runner at the Gold Coast or a runner in this race but it appears the draw can play a big factor,” Baker said.
“Probably towards the inside would be ideal obviously.
“He sat close last time and he is relaxed so wherever he jumps he should be able to switch off.”
Unencumbered currently remains a clear favourite in Magic Millions Classic betting markets, while there has been support in the last 48 hours for Team Hawkes-trained Invisible and the Mick Price-trained duo of Nordic Empire and Geromayo.