Brisbane trainer Steven O’Dea believes the inside barrier in Saturday’s 2016 Magic Millions 2YO Classic is a big advantage for his undefeated filly Candika who faces her toughest test to date in the lucrative Gold Coast clash.
The two-year-old daughter of Sebring has won both of her career starts so far and heads to the Gold Coast Racecourse this weekend taking on odds-on favourite, the also undefeated Capitalist in the $2 million Jeep Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m).
The Restricted Listed Classic has attracted a capacity field of juvenile Magic Millions graduates with the one to beat paying a firming $1.70 through Ladbrokes.com.au, home of Best Tote or SP + 20% on the full Magic Millions Gold Coast card on Saturday, is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained colt Capitalist.
He is not only the short priced favourite but also the market mover after coming up trumps with barrier two for his third career run, the son of Written Tycoon last seen winning the Wyong Magic Millions Classic by nearly three lengths on December 17.
Candika is the Magic Millions Classic hope jumping one on the inside of Capitalist this weekend, O’Dea’s filly paying a juicer $19 to keep her undefeated record in check.
Paul Hammersley stays aboard after guiding her to a narrow win over 1100m at Doomben on December 19, which followed her debut win at the same track in late October with Robbie Fradd in the saddle.
For both her career openers she jumped from barrier three, and O’Dea is confident she can show up and give her better fancied rivals a run from the money from her prized starting position on Saturday as she steps up in distance.
Four of the past five Magic Millions Classic winners jumped from barrier five or closer and a likely hot pace in this year’s edition will suit his filly from her barrier to a tee as she looks to follow the Blake Shinn-ridden favourite up through the field.
“There haven’t been many Magic Millions two-year-old races which haven’t been run at a breakneck speed,” O’Dea told AAP.
“She should be able to be closer from the good barrier and the other plus is she can follow the favourite Capitalist.
“He is drawn right beside us in barrier two. It is a perfect opportunity to follow him into the race.”
Win or lose on Saturday O’Dea is looking forward to the upcoming three-year-old campaign of Candika, a $100,000 buy from the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, tipping her to come on next prep.
“Whether we bring her back for the winter or even the autumn this year will be up to how she goes in the spelling paddock,” he said of the Proven Thoroughbreds-raced filly.
Proven Thoroughbreds have provided O’Dea with a number of his career highlights as a trainer including the 2014 Group 2 Queensland Guineas win with Sir Moments.
“Proven Thoroughbreds boss Jamie Walter has been very good to me,” O’Dea said.
“It would be an added thrill to win the Millions for them as they put a lot into racing.”
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