Things couldn’t be going better for jockey Stephen Baster ahead of the 2015 Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast this weekend after his mount and race favourite Claudia Jean drew the inside alley for the two-year-olds’ feature.
Baster jumps aboard the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained daughter of Not A Single Doubt for the first time under race conditions in the prestigious $2 million Jeep Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on Saturday.
The filly has been sitting top of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic odds at Ladbrokes.com.au pre-barrier draw at $5.50 and has retained that position after drawing barrier one in the capacity 16-starter, five-emergency field of juveniles.
She debuted at Flemington in Melbourne on December 20 for an explosive win that saw her enter Magic Millions Classic calculations well and truly.
Jye McNeil had the ride that day allowing the filly to take up the position of stalker before moving up as they came into the course proper, Claudia Jean striding clear at the 300m mark before ducking back to the fence to win running away by three and a half lengths.
She goes the reverse way for the first time then on Saturday in Queensland’s lucrative Magic Millions-restricted classic but should get all the favours from her preferred position on the inside.
Baster, who won the Group 3 Standish Handicap aboard Decircles at Flemington on New Year’s Day, travelled to Lindsay Park at Euroa recently and partnered the up-and-comer for a nice piece of work the clockwise way, happy with how she performed ahead of her big test this weekend.
“I went up and had a jump-out on her the reverse way and she handled it well,” Baster, who completed an Olympic distance triathlon last Friday at Phillip Island, told AAP this week.
“She got on the right leg and did everything right.
“She gave me a nice feel and she did win quite well at Flemington in what I think was a pretty handy race.
“I’m very happy to be on board.”
He had been hoping for a nice alley then knowing how important barriers play into the two-year-old races after riding the Mick Price-trained Geromayo into ninth behind Unencumbered from barrier eight in the race last year, and his prayers were answered on Tuesday morning.
The luck wasn’t quite as good however for Hayes & Dabernig’s second Magic Millions 2YO Classic hopeful Miss Idyllic who drew barrier 19, into 15, for jockey Michael Walker.
The daughter of Exceed And Excel, she is yet to win a race but has come close in three of her four starts when second past the post including in her latest run when runner-up behind Ottoman at Rosehill on December 20 in the $85,000 TAB Place Multi Plate (1100m).
She jumped from a nice barrier five of 13 draw that day but will have to do it tough from out wide on Saturday in her first start from double digits.
Miss Idyllic is out to around $11 to win in an upset.
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