Rick Hore-Lacy’s undefeated Victorian youngster Clevadude may have the love of their trainer and the early love of the punters but they certainly didn’t earn any favours with a horror barrier 18 draw for this Saturday’s 2013 Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast.
Second pick behind Assail in the early markets for the $2 million Jeep Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m), the richest race of the summer, Bel Esprit gelding Clevadude now has their work cut out for them if they are to retain their unbeaten status on the weekend.
A winner of their opening two career starts at Cranbourne and Moonee Valley respectively over 1000m in December the talented two-year-old has made a mess of their rivals to date but faces a tough test in the Magic Millions Classic from barrier 18 of 21, into 15 of 16 if all five emergencies come out.
Barriers aside Hore-Lacy is still looking forward to saddling up Clevadude, who arrives on the Gold Coast tonight, the Caulfield-based trainer saying they had the class and ability to overcome a wide alley.
“He began brilliantly last start from a wide gate (3 of 4), so he has the speed to overcome a wide draw,” he said.
However the task will be much harder from double digits in the $2 million race, especially now plans to be “up in the first two the whole way” have likely been shattered.
Hore-Lacy has had Clevadude pegged as a clever horse right from the get go after securing them the Gold Coast sales and is already looking ahead to the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 6, 2013.
“When you buy yearlings you put them in everything and hope one of them fires up,” Hore-Lacy, who trained 1990 Golden Slipper winner Canny Lad, said.
“By August we knew he went pretty well.
“At his first jumpout, he missed the start, went around them and still won, that’s when we had a pretty good idea.”
“I like the sale because breeders put their big, strong, early birth date yearlings in there.
“They are the ones that tend to race early and they are quite often the best ones.
“If you have a look at the record of horses coming out of the sale, it stacks up.
“In the last eight years two winners of this race have gone on to win the Slipper, so that’s a pretty good strike rate.”
But first Clevadude must win on Saturday, and Hore-Lacy is pretty confident that is an achievable result based on their horses two eye-catching first-up wins where they won firstly by 3.5 lengths at Cranbourne and then by 4.5 lengths at Moonee Valley a fortnight later.
“I’ve had a few goes at this race and never won it, so you can’t be over-confident, but just on form it looks like him and Clarry’s horse (Assail) would appear to have a class edge on the others, but that doesn’t always work out,” he said.
“Barrier positions and luck in running play a big part. Two-year-olds go sore at the drop of a hat but everything is good at the moment as far as we’re concerned.
“He’s a big horse, very strong, very well developed.
“I’d like to think he will go on to the Blue Diamond or Golden Slipper and then the Caulfield Guineas in the spring.”
Magic Millions 2YO Classic betting will continue to be dominated by the Clarry Conners-trained Assail who came up trumps with barrier one in Tuesday morning’s draw.
Updated 2013 Magic Millions Classic odds are due for release at our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au shortly.
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