Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Godolphin hold top hopes in this weekend’s $2 million Magic Millions 2yo Classic with $4.80 favourite Exhilarates, and just two months on from wins in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup, the blue army will be hoping to tick another milestone off the bucket list.
There’s perhaps no one better suited for the task than Kerrin McEvoy, who rode Redzel to a second-straight win in The Everest and Cross Counter to a win in the Melbourne Cup last year. The in-form hoop gets the ride on the James Cummings trained two-year-old this Saturday, and after an impressive win on the Gold Coast track last week, the 38-year-old thinks Godolphin could have another winner on their hands.
“James (Cummings) has prepped her all this time to be right for the day, and we were able to go to that race last Saturday and do it in nice fashion, and do it quite comfortably in the end” McEvoy told RSN’s Racing Pulse.
“James was confident she had that little bit left to improve on, and if he’s right, she’ll take a good amount of beating on Saturday, it’s a better race than last week’s race, and there’s going to be more pressure, but I think she’s going to run really well.”
Exhilarates was purchased at last year’s Magic Millions yearling sales for around $600,000, and has quickly turned into one of Godolphin’s most promising young fillies. The stable won a whopping 30 Group 1 races around the world in 2018, and while the Classic won’t count as part of this year’s tally, McEvoy thinks a simple gear change makes his ride almost unbeatable.
“Blinkers on the other day, she traveled nicely and she seems pretty versatile and nice positives off last Saturday’s win” McEvoy went on to say.
“Definitely at Wyong when I rode her behind the Gai Waterhouse horse, I was just sort of blocked away and only got clear inside the last furlong, never got to show what was under the bonnet.
“I think everything points to her enjoying the blinkers on, and being spot on for this Saturday’s race. I think James has prepped her really well to be peaking on the day.”
Exhilarates, who is by 2006 Oakleigh Plate winner Snitzel and 2013 Moir Stakes winner Samaready, will jump from barrier nine in her second step up to the 1200m.
McEvoy plans to play it by ear on Saturday and is happy to sit off the pace if need be.
“The quicker they go the better, and if I’m a little further so be it. It’ll just give us a little something to aim at once we straighten up there at the top of the line, so go out there with options open to be wherever I’m happy traveling and wherever she’s happy traveling, I know I’ve got a good runner underneath me” McEvoy said.
Ciaron Maher & David Eustace trained Dubious opens as the $5.00 second elect with Ladbrokes, followed by Gai Waterhouse’s Unite and Conquer, who beat home Exhilarates at Wyong in early December.
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