Chris Munce has won a number of big races for Gai Waterhouse and will have the chance to record another win when he partners Echo Gal in the Listed Bruce McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on December 28.
Echo Gal stamped herself as a leading Magic Millions contender with a dominant four lengths win in the TAB Rewards Plate (1000m) at Warwick Farm on December 11 and with regular jockey Tommy Berry currently suspended for the Magic Millions meeting, Munce could pick up the ride on one of the favourites for the $2 million race.
Munce believes that Echo Gal will face a stiffest test when she makes her debut in Brisbane but told News Limited that he was very impressed with her race win and deserves her place as one of the favourites for the Magic Millions.
“I liked her win the other day, it was typical of a Gai horse, very professional, she bounced and run and was strong at the finish,” Munce said.
“She’s going to turn up here well-educated and very fit for the run.
“I think it’s a very open race at this stage.”
Berry will find out whether he will be able to ride Echo Gal in the Magic Millions on January 11 next year when he appeals the length of his suspension suffered in Hong Kong tonight and remains hopeful that he will be able to take his rides on Echo Gal as well as Sweet Idea in the Magic Millions Guineas and Driefontein in the fillies and mares event.
Berry is confident that Echo Gal has the talent to win the Magic Millions but believes that she will face stiff competition from Bjorn Baker-trained Unencumbered who has scored wins in the Sharp Plate (1000m) and the Ascend Sale Trophies Plate (1000m).
“I think Unencumbered is the one to beat at this stage, and I didn’t think the horses in Queensland weren’t overly impressive yesterday,” Berry said.
“I really like Echo Gal, and the one thing the race has done is switch her on more.
“She was really switched on when I cantered her around the other morning.
“She looks good, and is very similar to Driefontein with her mannerisms.
“I think she’s a better chance than Driefontein the year she won it.”
Echo Gal is currently a narrow favourite in 2014 Magic Millions betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au; with the Gai Waterhouse-trained filly available at odds of $5.50 from Oakleigh Girl ($6), Nordic Empire ($8) and Sheer Style ($8).
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