Angaston-based trainer Tony McEvoy is hoping his decision to engage the services of top heavyweight hoop Dale Missen will pay off on Saturday when his promising colt Little Critter looks to secure their spot in the Magic Millions Classic 2012 field.
Court Command two-year-old Little Critter is one of seven horses among the 11 youngsters lining up in the $50,000 Magic Millions Tickets Online Now QTIS 2YO Handicap (900m) at the Gold Coast this Saturday who are entered for the prestigious $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) the following weekend.
With $35,100 in prize money earned to date, Little Critter currently sits 16th in the 2012 Magic Millions order of entry.
The race has a field limit of 16 starters plus five emergencies, and a win tomorrow will all but guarantee the up-and-comer a start in the lucrative showdown, acceptances taken on Monday.
In the pre-field Magic Millions Classic odds at Luxbet Little Critter is rated a $35 chance, markets led by Gai Waterhouse’s undefeated filly Driefontein ($3.50).
Little Critter made their debut at Morphettville last October running a game second to Alezan Thunder after jumping awkwardly.
They scored their maiden turf triumph a fortnight later when winning The Junction Cup Lunch Plate (1000m), again at Morphettville in October, before hitting the headlines in Sydney with a blistering four length barrier trial win at Warwick Farm that had ace hoop Glyn Schofield talking them up.
Little Critter failed to live up to the hype next start, however, when Schofield rode them to finish a still very credible four lengths away to Hoss Amor in the Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic (1100m) last start on December 22.
In the markets for Saturday’s Magic Millions Tickets 2YO Handicap, running as Race 1 at 12:20pm (QLD time), Little Critter is one of the top fancies at a quote of $5.
While confident Little Critter has plenty of ability, the colt faces a number of hurdles including their horror barrier 10 draw with Missen to ride them at 58kg.
“Good barriers win races – that’s for sure,” Missen, who has been based at the Gold Coast for the past 12 months, said.
The only horse ahead of Little Critter in the markets for this Saturday’s assignment is the Bruce Hill-trained local filly Lady Colours at $3.30 through Luxbet.
Other major players include Ain’t She Sweet ($6) seeking her third win on the trot, Toowoomba visitor Charge A Fortune ($6.50) coming off a debut win at Ipswich, and the Stuart Kendrick-trained Doubtfilly ($6.50) looking to return to her six-length-winning form at Townsville back in November after being outclassed when seventh to Discreet in the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1000m) at Eagle Farm on December 17.
View the full markets for the Gold Coast races this Saturday, and the futures odds for the Magic Millions Classic running on January 14, right now at Luxbet.
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2012 Magic Millions 2yo Classic Odds