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April’s 2018 Doncaster Mile remains a genuine autumn target for the Liam Birchley-trained Crack Me Up who is one of the best fancied chances at the Gold Coast in this weekend’s Magic Millions Cup.
Woodford-based Birchley saddles-up Mossman four-year-old Crack Me Up at the Gold Coast track for the second time on Saturday following the gelding’s unplaced run 12 months ago in the Magic Millions Guineas.
Twelve months on Crack Me Up comes into the Restricted Listed $1 million Woodford Reserve Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on the back of a lead-up win in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on December 16.
Kept fresh with a month between runs, the galloper returns to Queensland and drops back in distance for a shot at Magic Millions glory from barrier five with Damian Browne coming on for the ride.
“We decided to freshen him up and bring him back for the Cup at 1400 metres,” Birchley told AAP.
“The distance probably isn’t ideal at this stage of his campaign but it is a million dollar race.
“He is back at Eagle Farm after a freshen-up at Archer Park and he is ready to race well.”
The latest Magic Millions Cup 2018 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au list the Queenslander as a $6.50 shot at success, Crack Me Up carrying 56kg and occupying the third line of betting.
The top fancies in the quality handicap clash are the widely-drawn Care To Think ($3.50) chasing a fifth win on the trot from the outside barrier and the rails-drawn Arbeitsam ($6) for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.
All going well, Birchley is looking ahead to the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and hopes to return Crack Me Up to the track and distance of his recent Villiers Stakes success.
“I would be stupid not to aim him at the Doncaster. It is one of Australia’s great races and he doesn’t have to go in the ballot,” Birchley confirmed.
“Also if you look you will see the winners or placegetters in the Villiers have run well in the Doncaster of late.”
Held during the coveted ‘The Championships’, the Group 1 $3 million The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) could call for Crack Me Up on April 7.
Futures Doncaster Mile betting at bookmakers around the country have Crack Me Up listed around $26 with all-in markets led by Happy Clapper who has bravely run second in the past two editions of the autumn classic.
The 2018 Doncaster Mile nominations close on February 12.
To get behind Crack Me Up this Magic Millions Race Day at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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