Magic Millions favourite Wicked Intent will run in the Group 3 $150,000 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast in a fortnight as his final lead up run for his Grand Final on January 10.
Wicked Intent showed why he is a firming favourite for the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) when he remained undefeated with a super impressive four and a quarter lengths win in the Listed $100,000 Morgans Seafood Phelan Ready Stakes (1050m) at Doomben last Saturday.
That was the Barry Mitchell trained colt’s third win from as many starts and easily his best with rider Chris Munce giving him a good sound out after racing off the leader in the early and middle stages of the race.
Mitchell is keen to test Wicked Intent against tougher opposition in the B.J. McLachlan Stakes and has no concerns about stepping up to the 1200m.
“He won very well again and everything seems to be going to plan with him,” Mitchell said.
“He’ll have his next run in the B J McLachlan and I’m not worried about stepping up to 1200 metres.
“He’ll run the distance on his ear.”
“I would image all the good ones which are aiming for the race will run in it.”
“Chris has a very big opinion of this bloke.”
After leading all of the way at his previous start at Doomben on November 29, Munce was happy to give up the lead to eventual runner up Mishani Di Caprio before letting his colt explode away in the straight.
“He can lead or take a sit which is exactly what you need for the Magic Millions,” Munce said.
Munce is no stranger to the Magic Millions winner’s stall, having won the glamour Gold Coast race on three previous occasions.
The Grand Slam winning jockey won his first Magic Millions 2yo Classic way back in 1989 when he was an apprentice on the Eric Kirwan trained Sunblazer.
His other two successes were for the Gai Waterhouse stable with Excellerator in 2001 and Dance Hero in 2004.
Saturday’s Doomben win forced bookmakers to shorten up Wicked Intent’s Magic Millions 2yo Classic odds and he is now into $3.60 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Liam Birchley trained Pepperano is next in the market order at $8 with Gai Waterhouse’s filly Carriages at $9.
Pepperano hasn’t raced since scoring on debut over 1110m at Doomben on November 22 while Carriages missed a run last Saturday because of a hoof problem but was an impressive winner in the $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) at Ballarat on November 22.