A good barrier draw will assist Champagne...
Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien is plotting a summer racing carnival path to the Gold Coast with his class mare Merriest to target the Magic Millions Cup 2018 next month.
The four-year-old daughter of Denham hasn’t raced since her close sixth behind dual Group 1 winner Global Glamour in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) on Caulfield Cup Day in October.
She was defeated only one and a half-lengths that run on the back of an also very brave second when a quarter-length beaten by Now Or Later at Flemington a fortnight earlier in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1400m).
A winner of four of her 15 career starts to date, Merriest is due for a big pay day of her own according to O’Brien who has her heading towards the Restricted Listed $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on January 13 in Queensland.
O’Brien has Merriest racing next-up at Caulfield Racecourse on Boxing Day in the Listed $120,000 Christmas Stakes (1200m), her performance in the December 26 clash to decide whether she is worthy of a Magic Millions Cup bid in 2018.
In a promising early piece of work on Monday, Merriest put in a strong effort in her Werribee jump-out impressing O’Brien’s stable representative Matt Harrington.
“It was a really nice trial. Daniel Moor just settled her back in the field, she picked her way through them and had a little bit in hand on the line. She’s coming up well,” he told Racing Victoria.
“The aim is to get her to the Millions second-up, there’s the 1400m race there on the Gold Coast.
“She’ll start off on Boxing Day in the Christmas Stakes, and then head up to the Gold Coast all going well.
“She’s got a super record second-up, so we’re looking to make use of that.
“There’s some nice races in the autumn she’ll probably push on to, but we’re looking forward to seeing what we can do.”
Merriest’s last start conqueror in the Tristarc Stakes, the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Global Glamour is also heading to the glitter strip for the Gold Coast Magic Millions Day next month.
To check out all the latest Magic Millions 2018 racing odds this summer head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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