Trainer Les Ross’s hopes of a win in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast Saturday week were boosted by the win in the B.J. McLachlan Stakes 2014 at the track over the weekend by Mishani Honcho.
An up-and-coming son of Jet Spur, the Eagle Farm-based Mishani Honcho went out as a $21 outsider in the $150,000 Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m), markets for which were dominated by Barry Mitchell’s odds-on favourite Wicked Intent ($1.40).
Former hot favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au in their futures markets for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on January 10, Wicked Intent was previously undefeated with three earlier wins including in the Listed Phelan Ready Stakes (1050m) at Doomben on December 13.
Last Saturday however the Wicked Style colt could only manage to run two lengths away second behind the Chris Whiteley-ridden Mishani Honcho in the McLachlan Stakes where Star Of Night ($41) was a further two lengths away third.
Before his upset in the 2015 Magic Millions 2YO Classic lead-up, Mishani Honcho was a disappointing 10th behind Saga Of The Storm in the $65,000 Brisbane Marriott Hotel Handicap (1100m) at Doomben seven days earlier.
But a wet track helped him improve and break his black-type maiden much to his trainer’s delight.
“The wet track gave me a bit of confidence and so did barrier one,” the winning jockey Whiteley said post-win.
“He’s been missing the start a bit but from that draw it gives him time to pick himself up.
“The inside is never the best place to be when it’s wet here, but Wicked Intent was drawn alongside him and we were able to follow him into the race, so it wasn’t a huge disadvantage.
“He dipped a couple of times in the run which was a concern, because against the favourite I thought we would need every single thing to go right.
“Not at any stage in the run did I think I had Wicked Intent covered.
“It was only at the 200m point when I got to within a half-length of him that I could see he had no more to offer and I thought I would pin him down from that point.”
While the B.J. McLachlan Stakes winner isn’t eligible for a run in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, Ross still took plenty of confidence out of the result as he lines up the form of Mishani Honcho with his Magic Millions-qualified Frequendly.
“That’s nice because I have one a little bit better at home,” Ross told The Courier-Mail on Saturday after the win.
“That’s probably not fair, because this bloke (Mishani Honcho) has improved so much.
“It’s nice to win a good race with him, because he’s not a Magic Millions horse and he will go to the paddock now.”
Smart Sequalo filly Frequendly meanwhile won her opening two career starts by impressive margins including her nine length blitz over Faint Blaze in the $65,000 Driver Recruitment Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on October 25.
Her latest run however was a disappointment when she jumped awkwardly and failed to finish better than third when four and a half lengths off the winner Pepperano in the $65,000 Capture The Feeling Handicap (1100m) back at Doomben on November 22.
She looks to bounce back from that run this Wednesday night New Year’s Eve at Toowoomba running from the outside barrier (12) in the $50,000 Magic Millions QTIS Two-Years-Old Plate (1050m).
“She hasn’t raced for a while and that may count against her in the Millions, but I think she will be hard to beat at Toowoomba,” Ross said.
Futures Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is now led by Claudia Jean and Wicked Intent at $5.50 each while Frequendly pays $13 for an upset.
Check out he full markets and get behind your early favourites for the lucrative Magic Millions-restricted classic online now at Ladbrokes where your first deposit will be matched dollar for dollar up to $250 as a bonus bet when you use the promo code BETBONUS!
2014 B.J. McLachlan Results
Gold Coast Race 5 – 27/12/2014
|1||2||MISHANI HONCHO||Les Ross||Chris Whiteley||–||1||57kg||$21|
|2||1||WICKED INTENT||Barry A Mitchell||Chris Munce||2L||2||57kg||$1.40F|
|3||12||STAR OF NIGHT||David Kelly||Jeff Lloyd||3.8L||5||55kg||$41|
|4||3||OLD TRIESTE||Andrew Noblet||Jim Byrne||4.8L||4||57kg||$11|
|5||11||RIGHT OF WAY||Gai Waterhouse||Damian Browne||8.3L||10||55kg||$8|
|6||7||MISTRAL THIEF||Stuart Kendrick||Luke Tarrant (a)||8.4L||9||57kg||$81|
|7||10||FLAMENCO GIRL||Danny J Bougoure||Michael Cahill||9.7L||3||55kg||$12|
|8||4||IT’S VEGAS BABY||Brad Herne||Ric McMahon||11L||7||57kg||$51|
|9||14||VIDA PLAYA||Trevor Bailey||Daniel Griffin||18L||8||55kg||$71|
|10||13||BLINK ’N’ MISS||Bruce W Hill||Robbie Fradd||26.8L||6||55kg||$101|
|–||6||HAVASAY||Liam Birchley||Travis Wolfgram (a)||–||0||–||–|
|–||8||STRAVIGO||Peter & Paul Snowden||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||9||SAGA OF THE STORM||Liam Birchley||Glen Colless||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||COOKIE’S CARIOCA||James Lyons||Timothy Bell||–||0||–||–|