Maryann Thexton’s promising Gold Coast galloper El Toranado heads into town this weekend racing in the 2012 Phelan Ready Stakes at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse, the Encosta De Lago colt drawn ideally in barrier four of 11 for just their second career start.
A $150,000 purchase from last year’s Magic Millions National Weanling Sale, El Toranado showed their potential with a massive nine length trial victory at their home track over 1000m in late November.
On the back of that trial they were one of the top fancies for their race debut at Eagle Farm on December 1, the Hamilton Hotel QTIS 2YO Handicap (1000m).
While they didn’t produce quite the same blistering run as their trial when stepped up in class they were far from disgraced when finishing three and a quarter lengths away fourth to the $2.20 favourite Sister Magic.
Saturday sees them return to the track where they will be looking to break their maiden status in the $100,000 Listed Origin Kebabs Phelan Ready Stakes (1000m).
The latest Phelan Ready Stakes betting markets are headed by Londehero in barrier three while El Toranado, one further out in barrier four, is at more generous $9, a price Thexton believes could be rewarding for the punters after their nice gate allocation.
“He should be able to get some cover this time and that will allow him to finish off the race really well,” she said.
“Since his last race he’s matured mentally and I keep touching wood because two-year-olds are a race-by-race prospect but at this stage he hasn’t caused me any sleepless nights.
“He’s a cheeky colt but it’s not anything that’s unmanageable and the great thing about him is there’s no indication or need at this point to geld him.”
To give them an added boost on Saturday Thexton has made a number of minor gear changes looking to improve the youngster’s racing manners.
“We had to resolve that issue because that will always cost him lengths if he’s going to be fighting the jockey,” Thexton explained.
“Straight after that race (on debut) I made the gear change and my trackwork riders advise me that he’s happy, bright and hasn’t put a foot wrong.”
A good run in the Phelan Ready Stakes will also help confirm a 2013 Magic Millions 2YO Classic bid for El Toranado next month back at the Gold Coast, the horse currently rated a $61 outsider in the bookmaker.com.au markets for the $2 million feature.
Whether it is the Phelan Ready Stakes this weekend or the upcoming Gold Coast Magic Millions features, the horse racing odds you need can be found online at bookmaker.com.au – home of the famous $400 bonus welcome bet offer.