Brendan McCarthy’s Caulfield-based three-year-old Murt The Flirt gets a chance to move up the futures markets for the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas on the Gold Coast next month when he tackles a right-handed assignment for the first time in Thursday’s 2014 Wyong Magic Millions 3YO Stakes.
The Murtajill gelding is one of 10 of his age in the mix for the $100,000 Wyong Magic Millions 3YO Stakes (1200m) this week.
The race is a nice lead-up for hopefuls heading towards a trip to Queensland for the $1 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) on January 10, which is where McCarthy has Murt The Flirt on way to.
He debuted at Ballarat on November 22 and made an instant impression showing a nice turn of foot to draw clear and win the $100,000 Magic Millions 3YO Classic (1100m) there by a length over Boundary.
Now he shoots for back-to-back Magic Millions wins ahead of the big one in a few weeks’ time, Brenton Avdulla replacing Chris Symons in the saddle.
Drawn in barrier eight for Thursday, Murt The Flirt is currently paying $15 in the early Magic Millions 3YO Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
That’s a price sure to firm if he can score a win on the weekend when coming up against the likes of the better rated Listed placegetter Echo Gal for Gai Waterhouse, Gerald Ryan’s nicely-drawn filly Tetsuko and the consistent Kokomo.
“Realistically, that was a 0-68 race at Ballarat – the highest-rater in the race was a 68 – so the horses in Thursday’s race rate considerably higher and have been racing in better races,” McCarthy told Racing Victoria on Tuesday.
“So we had to improve a bit, which I think we have, so that puts him right in the ball park.”
McCarthy admits gate eight wasn’t the perfect draw for his galloper on Thursday, the trainer preferring to be inside the first five, but that the horse was versatile and classy enough to overcome it and retain his undefeated record.
“Going around the other way you’d just prefer it if you draw a (good) gate so you’re going to have something on your outside, just making sure you get around safely,” he said.
“But he’s a very versatile little horse, so I don’t think it’s an extreme problem.”
Thursday will also see Murt The Flirt race the right-handed way for the first time under race conditions, but McCarthy is also unfazed over that saying he’d had plenty of work the opposite way in the lead-up at home and then again when stabled with Gerald Ryan at Rosehill this week.
“He had a couple of good, serious gallops at Caulfield and on the ‘little’ grass, which is only about 1400 metres around,” McCarthy said.
“That’s quite a testing track because the turns are reasonably tight, so if you’re getting around that track you’ll get around most tracks.”
Get behind Murt The Flirt this Thursday, and for the Gold Coast edition next year, online now at Ladbrokes.com.au where a $25 deposit will earn you a $75 bonus bet just in time for the weekend’s racing!