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Gold Coast hoop Paul Hammersley is confident his mount in Saturday’s Magic Millions 3YO Guineas 2013 Caliente can be more competitive than her double figure odds suggest especially after the local drew off the rails in gate eight.
The Sequalo three-year-old, prepared by Hammersley’s father-in-law Bruce Hill, took her race record to two wins first-up at Eagle Farm on December 8 in a smart effort in the Listed Mode Plate (1200m) where she enjoyed chasing them down from barrier 13 of 17.
Last start at career run number eight Caliente wasn’t nearly as impressive when she struggled to find her feet from the inside alley in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m) crossing two and a half lengths away seventh to upset winner Lucky Hussler, an effort that could prove to be a “blessing in disguse” according to her jockey.
“It could be a blessing in disguise because she has still made the field and she didn’t have a gut buster last time around,” Hammersley said.
“When they sprinted she was a bit flat second up and it wasn’t until the last 100m that she wound half-a-length back off Lucky Hussler.”
She will now take on a very similar field of hopefuls including the winning Vo Rogue Plate trifecta of Lucky Hussler, Sizzling and Heza Jetsetter at her home track on the Gold Coast in the weekend’s $1 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m).
The latest Magic Millions Guineas odds are led by Kelso Wood’s Group 1 winner Sizzling who has work to do from a horror barrier 20 draw and Gai Waterhouse’s reigning MM Classic winning filly Driefontein who has the ideal gate three – both paying $4.50.
Further down the MM 3YO Guineas betting markets punters will find Caliente who is rated a $17 chance at bookmaker.com.au.
While the money isn’t coming in for the filly just yet Hammersley would be happy to take that price on her if he could, the hoop willing to forgive her last effort from the unsuitable draw.
“We saw that in her first-up win in the Mode Plate and when she saw daylight she hit the line very well,” Hammersley said earlier in the week.
“She can go through a gap but the way it looks she seems to hit the line a lot better if she gets to the outside.
“So I would like to draw a barrier where we can comfortably stay one off the fence.”
Gate eight certainly fits that criteria, the Magic Millions Guineas barriers released on Tuesday morning.
And if anyone knows what it takes to ride a Magic Millions Guineas winner it is Hammersley who guided fellow Gold Coast filly Punch On to her narrow win over Easy Running in the race 12 months ago, the jockey drawing comparisons between her and Caliente.
“After her win in the Mode Plate I would probably say she (Caliente) had a better turn of foot than Punch On but we came back to reality a bit last start,” Hammersley, out to become the first to go back-to-back in the MM Guineas in history, said.
“But she is similar to Punch On and they both like to get back and hit the line.”
While he is happy with his filly Hammersley also knows Saturday’s race won’t be an easy task saying there was plenty of depth in the field especially with the interstate three-year-olds from Sydney and Melbourne making the trip up.
“The race this year does look stronger than last year with Sizzling in it and a couple of the horses coming up from down south puts a bit of class into the race,” he said.
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