Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse won’t have her confidence hampered by a wide 2015 Magic Millions 2YO Classic barrier draw for her filly Carriages who she believes will be suited to the outside gate in Saturday’s Gold Coast showdown.
The Hinchinbrook filly is one of a capacity field of juveniles facing off in the $2 million Jeep Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) this summer with jockey Tommy Berry to ride her from the outside alley.
She’s drawn in gate 21 but with the five emergencies coming out she’ll have barrier 16 of 16 to overcome if she is to hand her trainer Waterhouse her fifth win in the race.
Waterhouse’s previous Magic Millions 2YO Classic wins were with Driefontein (2012), Dance Hero (2004), Excellerator (2001) and Assertive Lad (2000).
Berry, who jumps aboard Carriages for the first time this weekend, also has an excellent record in the restricted feature having ridden Driefontein for her win for Waterhouse in 2012 as well as Karuta Queen the year before for Neville Layt.
His late twin brother Nathan Berry who sadly lost his life to a virus last year meanwhile rode last year’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Unecumbered to victory for Bjorn Baker.
On debut at Randwick on November 8 Winona Costin rode Carriages to a third behind Mine Two in a 2YO Plate over 1000m where the filly had to weaken late after being challenged throughout after leading early.
A fortnight later Craig Williams rode her at Ballarat, Carriages impressively breaking her maiden status with a two length all-the-way win over Prompt Return in the $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m).
While she’s yet to race over the 1200m and hasn’t jumped from a barrier wider than seven, Waterhouse knows the filly’s ability to jump from the gates with speed to cross and lead can see her get into the right position on the weekend.
Waterhouse’s confidence is also boosted by the fact the bulk of Gold Coast winners over the past few weeks have been successful after runs down the middle or outside of the track, so if she can’t get across then Carriages is still a livewire chance if that trend continues.
“How many horses win out wide in those races and you are out of trouble and the track will be affected because of the rain we’ve had,” she told the Herald Sun.
“I think it will be exactly the place to be and I bet you the winners will be coming out wide.
“I have always been very confident she can win and I still am.”
Barrier 16 certainly hasn’t been a death wish for two-year-olds in the race over the past 29 years with three winners jumping from the outside in that time with: Molokai Prince (1988, colts and geldings division), Malibu Magic (1989, fillies division) and St. Jude (1990, colts and gelding division).
The latest Magic Millions 2YO Classic betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are co-lead by Barry Mitchell’s Phelan Ready Stakes winner Wicked Intent to be ridden by the retiring Grand Slam-winning hoop Chris Munce and fellow Queenslander Frequendly at $6 each.
Seemingly forgotten by the punters despite her big win at Ballarat, Carriages is out to $17 with Saturday to be her first run in 49 days.
That’s a lengthy break that Waterhouse has had success with youngsters off before including Sebring who won the 2008 Golden Slipper in his first run in 49 days.
She also gave her then lightly-raced filly No Looking Back 56 days between runs off her winning debut in November 2011 to her 2012 Magic Millions 2YO Classic run where she was first past the post before losing on protest to stablemate Driefontein.
“Carriages has ticked every box and she constantly surprises people and she has always over performed compared to her odds,” Waterhouse said.
“She hasn’t had much exposure on wet tracks but there is only a handful of horses in the race that have won on wet tracks.
“And the horses that ran on the wet track (in the BJ Mclachlan Stakes on December 27) might have felt that run.”
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