Flying young Sunshine Coast-based two-year-old Le Chef is set for a big run in Saturday’s 2015 Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast with trainer Darryl Hansen happy with the horse’s progression.
One of a capacity field of juveniles facing off in this year’s $2 million Jeep Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m), Exceed And Excel gelding Le Chef was a big winner at the barrier draw on Tuesday morning coming up with gate three.
Apprentice jockey Luke Tarrant retains the ride after guiding Le Chef to victory for back-to-back wins this summer and rates his mount a big chance on a dry track.
The horse debuted at Doomben on November 29 but after an awkward jump and horror run from the outside barrier with Dale Missen aboard he could only manage to finish a well-beaten fifth when over 10 lengths off the winner, fellow Magic Millions 2YO Classic hopeful Wicked Intent in the Breakfast Creek Hotel Handicap (1050m).
Twenty-five days later with the blinkers on the spectators at Ipswich were treated to a much-improved galloper with Le Chef beating home his closest rival by a bit four and a half lengths with Tarrant jumping on.
Next time out the duo combined again at the Gold Coast last Saturday, Le Chef beating home Real Good by a length in a 2YO open handicap over the same track and distance as this weekend’s major but on a Soft (6) course.
Showing good improvement with each run, and sure to be competitive on a firmer track this Saturday, Le Chef has the tick of approval from Hansen.
“I’ve left a bit in the tank because I knew if he won today he would need to back up,” Hansen told News Corp this week.
“He’s coming to the party now. I just have to look after him for another week.
“Every time I’ve galloped him he’s improved.”
Updated markets on the Magic Millions 2YO Classic are now led by the horse that beat Le Chef home by 10.5 lengths on debut, the Barry Mitchell-trained Wicked Intent paying $5.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au after the Phelan Ready Stakes winner drew well in barrier five for the weekend.
Le Chef meanwhile can be found further down the Magic Millions 2YO Classic odds at a juicy $21 to score an upset at the meeting’s marquee race.
That’s a juicy price according to Tarrant who said that despite his good win last time out the horse didn’t appreciate the give out of the ground at the Gold Coast and would be better on a firmer track for the Classic.
“He wasn’t comfortably in that ground and I went hard early to make sure I had a big enough lead heading into the straight,” Tarrant said.
“He was a lot happier when I rode him at Ipswich and if it’s a dry track next week he’s right in it.”
A $120,000 buy from last year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sales, the Lenore Saunders-owned Le Chef is up for the $500,000 bonus on Saturday that is on offer to any Magic Millions starter at the meeting that is owned exclusively by female connections.
The other two top chances in the latest Magic Millions 2YO Classic betting markets are the rails-drawn Claudia Jean ($6) who comes off a big win on debut at Flemington and fellow filly Frequendly ($6.50) prepared by Les Ross in Brisbane.
A daughter of Sequalo, Frequendly comes off a win from New Year’s Eve in the Magic Millions 2YO Plate at Toowoomba and Ross rates her a better two-year-old than stablemate Mishani Honcho who beat Wicked Intent home by two lengths in the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) on December 27.
Back your early Magic Millions Day favourites in the Classic and the 3YO Guineas online now at Ladbrokes.com.au enjoying up to $250 in bonus bets as a first time depositing player when you quote the code BETBONUS!