A tidy win at Moonee Valley last Friday night has connections of the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Highland Beat convinced the up-and-comer can present as a livewire chance in next month’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic 2016 on the Gold Coast.
A two-year-old son of Exceed And Excel out of Highland Daughter, the nicely-bred colt had his second career start at Moonee Valley on December 11 with Damian Lane guiding him to a smart all-the-way two and a quarter-length victory over 1000m.
It was an improved run from his debut at Caulfield back on October 10 when ninth crossing over five lengths off the winner Missrock in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m).
With only $22,000 in prize money to date however, Highland Beat is far from assured of a run at the Gold Coast’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on January 9.
In a bid to get the galloper into the field for the lucrative restricted feature race of Magic Millions Race Day 2016, Hayes & Dabernig are likely to give Highland Beat another lead-up run in Sydney before next month.
Co-trainer Dabernig has singled out one of the Boxing Day races at Royal Randwick for two-year-olds on Summer Cup Day, December 26, while they continue to focus on getting the youngster to perform the opposite way of going.
“It’s a bit of travelling for a young horse but I think he’s the sort that will handle it,” Dabernig told AAP this week speaking of the program they have in place for Highland Beat.
“We have found going halfway to Sydney helps – settling them in there and then it’s not quite as long a trip up there.”
“We’ll probably have only the one (Magic Millions) two-year-old. We’ve got another couple that will be trialling soon, but we’re starting to run out of time.”
Futures Magic Millions 2YO Classic betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is firmly led at $3 by the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Capitalist.
Further down the all-in markets at $21 punters can find Highland Reel who is an equal price with the Matthew Smith-trained Not A Single Doubt filly Faraway Town who runs this Saturday at Rosehill Gardens.
Also Magic Millions-bound for the Lindsay Park stable is Gracious Prospect who has his third appearance at the Gold Coast summer meeting.
The now five-year-old son of Tale Of The Cat ran seventh to Real Surreal as a juvenile in the 2013 Magic Millions 2YO Classic before returning this January when seventh again, this time behind Sweet Idea in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.
Dabernig has the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on the radar for Gracious Prospect this time round, the horse running a nice third to Famous Seamus two back in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown before a last start seventh to Precious Gem over 1400m at Flemington over the weekend.
The $250,000 Magic Millions Maiden Plate (1200m) meanwhile is the Gold Coast target for stablemates Catch A Fire and Moral Outrage.
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