New Lindsay Park recruit Vega Magic has had a faultless preparation to take on five times Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
The former West Australian trained sprinter will be stepping out for the first time for the Lindsay Park Team and co-trainer Ben Hayes admits that Black Heart Bart is the horse to beat but said that Vega Magic is primed to run the race of his life.
“We’re confident … but there’s a five-time Group 1 winner in the race and we’ve got to beat him first, so we’ve got to be realistic,” Ben Hayes told The Advertiser.
“It’s a big step up in grade and a quality field but we think he’ll put up a very good run.”
Vega Magic won nine of his fourteen starts in the West for Perth trainer Sean Casey and has been under the care of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig for the last couple of months and will be having his first start since winning the Group 3 $250,000 A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m) at Ascot in Peth on December 10 last year.
Ben Hayes said that Vega Magic trialled well and his Goodwood jockey Craig Williams was very impressed with the four year old’s recent jump out at Flemington.
“He arrived a couple of months ago at Euroa. He’s had about 80 days work now, so he’s been in work a long time,” Ben Hayes said.
“His trial leading into this race was fantastic. He had a jump out at Flemington and Craig was thrilled with him. He got off with glowing reports and said he’d be very hard to beat in the Goodwood.”
From barrier six Hayes is expecting Williams to take up a forward position just off the pace and have him poised to attack the leaders in the straight.
“I think the barrier is just perfect for him,” Hayes said.
“He’s a horse who likes to float in his races and Craig will be able to just have him there and keep him in a nice rhythm.
“In all of his races in Perth, he’s been dug out of the barriers and raced right on the speed. I don’t think we’ll change that.
“We’ll give him lots of galloping room.
“Hopefully he’s sitting just off them and looming into it from the corner.”
Vega Magic has been solid in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for The Goodwood and on Friday morning was the second pick at $6.50 behind the Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart at $3.50.
Following his Goodwood win twelve months ago, Black Heart Bart went on to win the Group 1 $500,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 $500,000 Underwood Stakes (1800m) both at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Blackfriars six year old then continued his Group 1 winning form during the 2017 Melbourne Autumn Carnival with wins in the $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) and in the Group 1 $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m), both at Caulfield again.