Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
This year’s Magic Millions Maiden Plate winning mare Elle Lou could return to the Gold Coast’s lucrative summer race meeting next month on the back of a Rosehill win as she runs this weekend in Sydney.
The now four-year-old daughter of Snitzel is prepared by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes and scored her first win at the Gold Coast Racecourse in Queensland this January gone five runs into her career.
Ridden by James McDonald from a wide barrier 15 of 16 draw she weaved through the field in the Magic Millions Maiden Plate (1200m) after only getting in as an emergency, flying home to score by two and a quarter lengths as a well-backed $6.50 hope.
“She was first emergency so it was tricky,” co-trainer Michael Hawkes told Racenet this week.
“But one of the owners has a son who owns Sydney Horse Transport so they thought we might as well throw her on the truck and see what unfolds.
“I was happy to do it and she ended up getting a run on the Saturday morning. Then of course she won so it all worked out thankfully – it’s a great story.”
She won her next start first-up in May at Hawkesbury but hasn’t been back in the winners’ stall since.
Her winter form was solid however and included three straight second place runs in Sydney on Heavy-rated tracks.
First-up this campaign a more mature Elle Lou raced at Rosehill on November 28 and ran a luckless fourth to I Am Zelady over 1200m doing her best work late when beaten two and a quarter lengths.
She runs second-up this Saturday in the sixth at the same track as one of 10 remaining hopes in the $85,000 Cellarbrations Handicap (1350m), Hawkes hoping she can atone for her loss last time out when ridden by apprentice Taylor Marshall.
“Last start she probably should have won,” he said.
“She got held up all the way up the straight. It wasn’t a bad ride, it was just a split second decision, a 50-50 call.”
Drawn a treat in gate three with Tommy Berry having his third ride on the progressive mare, Elle Lou is a market mover again backed in from $7.50 to $7 through Ladbrokes.com.au to improve on her resuming run where she only got into the clear late.
“She’s drawn a good barrier on Saturday and will be hard to beat,” Hawkes said.
The top two in the markets fighting for favouritism are the Joe Pride-trained I Am Zelady ($3.30) and the rails-drawn Fitou ($3.40) for John O’Shea, both last start winners.
All going to plan, Elle Lou will head north again for the Gold Coast Magic Millions Race Day on January 6 where she will target either the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) or the $1 million Magic Millions Fillies & Mares Handicap (1300m).
“She’s aimed at the Magic Millions so after this run we’ll head up there,” Hawkes confirmed.
“There’s options for her – the 1400 metre Cup and the fillies and mares’ race.
“If she can improve her rating (on Saturday) that would obviously help her avoid being balloted out of those races.”
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