Bjorn Baker-trained Unencumbered produced an impressive performance to record his third win from four career starts in the Wyong Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic (1100m) this afternoon.
Jockey Nathan Berry settled Unencumbered towards the tail of the six horse field and bided his time patiently before unleashing the son of Testa Rossa with a strong burst in the final stages of the race.
Unencumbered showed an impressive turn-of-foot to record a comfortable victory from Mick Price-trained Geromayo and the well-backed Sheer Style and stamp himself as a leading contender for the $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast on January 11.
Baker was confident that Unencumbered would perform well at Wyong this afternoon but was clearly delighted with the two-year-olds performance and happy that he continues to improve ahead of the lucrative event next month.
“He’s a nice colt and every time he races he improves and that is a great sign in itself,” Baker said after the race.
“Hopefully he comes through the race well, that’s all that matters now.
“He has a fantastic attitude, especially for a colt, and it’s just great to have him in the stable.”
Unencumbered started his racing career with an impressive win after missing the start in the Listed Sharp Plate (1000m) but was beaten by Bold Circle and Sheer Style second-up in the Men Of League Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens.
The classy colt was hampered at the start and checked in the early stages of the Ascend Sale Trophies Plate (1000m) at the Randwick Kensington but recovered impressively to race away from the rest of the field and record a comfortable victory.
Queensland-based Oakleigh Girl remains a narrow favourite in 2013 Magic Millions Classic betting markets at odds of $4.50 but Unencumbered ($6.50) is now into the fourth line of betting behind Gai Waterhouse-trained Echo Gal ($5) and last-start winner Nordic Empire ($6.50).
Garry Frazer-trained Sheer Style started the Wyong Magic Millions Classic as a clear favourite after winning the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic at Ballarat on November 24 and had every chance but was no match for the winner and tired to finish a distant third.
Nathan Berry will maintain the ride on Unencumbered at the Gold Coast next month and will face off against his brother Tommy who has been cleared to ride Echo Gal after successfully appealing against the severity of his ten meeting suspension suffered in Hong Kong.