Undefeated colt Ours To Keep is the horse to beat in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday according to Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds.
Edmonds will saddle up brilliant filly Houtzen who currently heads the market order for the Magic Millions 2yo Classic at $3.90 with Ladbrokes.com.au on Wednesday morning but admits the barriers will have a lot to do in determining the winner.
The Chris Waller trained From Within is on the second line of betting at $4 while Ours To Keep has been well supported, firming in from $7.50 to $6.50 to be the third pick in the market order.
Houtzen was completely out of luck at the barrier draw at the Surfers Paradise beachfront on Tuesday morning and came up with the extreme outside barrier of twenty-one in the final field of sixteen plus five emergencies while Ours To Keep drew perfectly at gate four.
If all five emergencies fail to gain a start, the Chris Munce trained Ours To Keep will jump from gate two while Houtzen will be the furthest from the starter in the sixteen horse field.
“Chris Munce’s horse has another soft draw, which is good for him. Good luck to him,” Edmonds told The Gold Coast Bulletin.
“I’d say his horse is the horse to beat from the barrier.”
Jockey Damian Browne agrees with Edmonds and thinks that if everything goes to plan Ours To Keep will be fighting out the finish.
“I couldn’t be happier with that. I can see us in the second running line in the right spot,” Browne said.
“A lot of the speed is drawn very wide out. Madeenaty will probably kick up inside us and outside us From Within will also take a forward spot.
“I think this is as strong as the Magic Millions race has been for many years and I expect four or five will go on and become really good horses, but I wouldn’t swap mine for anything else in the race.”
Houtzen hasn’t been headed in her two race starts with all the way wins in a 1050m 2yo Handicap at Doomben on December 24 followed by a brilliant four and a half lengths win last Saturday in an 1100m 2yo Handicap on her home track at the Gold Coast.
Ours To Keep is also undefeated and made it a hat trick of wins last start by taking out the Group 3 $200,000 Lilivale Stud B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on December 31 with Browne aboard.
The Seidnazar colt scored a comfortable win on debut in a 1050m 2yo Plate at Doomben on October and backed that up with a win in the Listed $100,000 Phelan Ready Stakes (1110m) at Doomben on December 17.
Edmonds also has great respect for From Within who comes to the Gold Coast after only having one race start for a win in an 1100m 2yo Plate at Canterbury on December 31.
From Within drew nicely at barrier seven in the original draw and Hugh Bowman is certain to give her a lovely ride from gate four with three of the emergencies drawing inside of her.
“Obviously, From Within has good ability but it has one start in a five-horse field,” Edmonds said.
“It’s got to be everything they think it is but there is no reason why it couldn’t win.”
Brisbane’s leading jockey Jeff Lloyd will have to make up his mind early if Houtzen is to cross the field from the wide gate or try to slot in just off the pace and Edmonds said that a game plan is still up in the air.
“That’s what we need to work out – whether we push forward, push forward steadily and work our way across, bang to the front and be real aggressive or start quiet.
“There are quite a few options but it makes it difficult to navigate when you get a barrier like that.”