After battler Le Chef won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) in a shock upset at the Gold Coast on Saturday, many were speculating that trainer Darryl Hansen would pay the $55,000 late-entry fee for the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
However Hansen put an end to speculation on the weekend, stating that Le Chef would skip Sydney during the autumn and prepare for the Brisbane Winter Carnival instead.
“We’ll probably skip Sydney this time,” Hansen told The Sydney Morning Herald from his Sunshine Coast stables on Sunday.
“We’ll probably aim at a couple of races through the winter carnival here in Brisbane.
“We’re just going to let the dust settle and there’s plenty to talk about with the owners. We’re not going to go to the Slipper so we’ll sit down and work it out with the owners.”
Hansen also revealed that Le Chef would likely be kept to 1400-1600 metre distances from here on out, with the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Doomben Racecourse on June 6 a potential target.
“I think he’s going to be a better 1400-metre to a miler type horse so we’re looking at the [JJ Atkins] and we’ll work it out from there.”
The 2015 Magic Millions Classic was full of upsets with first two home Le Chef ($16) and Pepperano ($31) making easy work of race favourite Wicked Intent.
Le Chef had his work cut out for him to even make the field after the gelding was balloted out following a fifth place finish in the Breakfast Creek Hotel Handicap (1050m) on November 29. However he earned his place after victories in two quick runs – the XXXX Gold Maiden Plate (1100m) and First National Handicap (1200m).
The gelding won his connections a total of $1.4 million from the Magic Millions Classic and will be surely attract plenty of attention during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
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