Emerging New Zealand two-year-old Travino may be the surprise runner in the $2m Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.
The son of General Nediym has won his past three races including last start in a Listed Westwood Grange Stakes at Te Rapa (1100m) on December 10.
Matamata trainer Peter McKay is getting more convinced that Travino is worthy of the trip but travel difficulties could limit his option.
“They are saying that was a pretty good field he just beat, so who knows?” McKay said.
“The other filly (Oasis Rose) was coming quite strongly at the finish but you just don’t know how much this horse had left in the tank.”
With three wins in five starts Travino’s prizemoney stands at $NZ48,939 which would be enough to gain him a Magic Millions start.
He has the ability to race both on the speed and settle off the pace and has shown no aversion to racing either left or right-handed.
Jockey Jason Waddell likes the way the $130,000 main sale purchase is progressing.
“He’s living up to the potential we always thought he had,” Waddell said.
“That’s three on end now.
“He’s doing a good job, he’s doing everything we ask of him.
“He’s turned himself from a little, green horse in his first start into a true professional racehorse now.
“He’s shown a ton of improvement.
“He’s got natural ability but he’s improved every step of the way – manners, he’s not sweating as much now and he’s turning into a lovely horse and there’s only better to come.”
McKay won the same Te Rapa race last year with Estrato who like Travino was a Magic Millions yearling purchase.
McKay decided not to make the trip 12 months ago but is warming to the idea this time.
He is looking for direct flights to Brisbane instead of a flight to Sydney and a road trip.
TABsportsbet have Travino a $41 chance to win the Classic.
Travino is the first foal from Miss Keaton, is a sister to dual Group 1 winner Rubitano who earned over $1.2m and won the Newmarket Hcp and Salinger Stakes down the Flemington straight.