Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir is feeling confident ahead of Saturday’s Magic Millions Cup 2016 at the Gold Coast with Lucky Hussler in top form for his summer return.
Weir had no luck at Tuesday morning’s barrier draw for the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) with his $4 favourite through Ladbrokes.com.au Mahuta coming up with barrier 20 of 21 (into 15) for the $2 million feature.
The in-form Flying Spur colt and hoop Brad Rawiller have their work cut out for them on the weekend from the wide alley as Mahuta chases his fifth win on the trot in his first run since success in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne on November 14.
To make matters harder, Mahuta also carries the 58kg top weight, but Weir isn’t conceding defeat for the punters just yet.
“It’s not ideal, but there’s not a lot you can do about it,” Weir said of the barrier speaking to Racing Victoria post-draw.
One positive was Mahuta’s smart 900m clockwise barrier trial at Terang on Monday.
“It was bloody terrific of them to do that,” Weir said of the club putting on trials the other way of racing.
“You couldn’t do that without them, we have stables at Warrnambool and we’re galloping horses there all the time.”
Also working the Queensland way on Monday at Terang was his $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) contender for Saturday, Husson six-year-old Lucky Hussler.
“Lucky Hussler had a trial the other way as well, I couldn’t thank them enough – Terang and Camperdown are very important places to our training operation,” Weir added.
The dual Group 1 winning gelding hasn’t raced since a sixth to New Zealander Turn Me Loose, who is set to run in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield first-up next month, in the Emirates Stakes over the Flemington mile on November 1.
That followed a stellar spring campaign in Victoria highlighted by his Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) success carrying 58kg to victory over Disposition in October and his third to subsequent Emirates champ Turn Me Loose in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) on Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley.
According to Weir, Lucky Hussler is going better than his Magic Millions Guineas-bound stablemate Mahuta after two strong trials.
“He’s had two trials, the same as Mahuta – both horses are in really good shape,” he said.
“Lucky Hussler is probably going better than Mahuta but I’m really happy with both horses.”
Lucky Hussler has had four previous Gold Coast runs over his 33 start career to date that has resulted in $1.19 million in prize money for just the one second place finish back in August of 2012.
He missed last year’s Magic Millions Race Day at the track and races at the tight course for the first time since his failed 11th when beaten just over four lengths by the winner Velrosso in the 2014 Magic Millions Cup.
The 2016 Magic Millions Cup field and barriers are out on Wednesday morning making now the time to open an online betting account with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the weekend’s action!