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The Danny O’Brien-trained Prompt Return has the most experience heading into the Magic Millions Clockwise Challenge (1000m) this Saturday at Ballarat, which could end up being a disadvantage for the juvenile colt.
He’s already proven to be a winner in the Victorian style of racing after winning the Elmore RC 2YO Maiden Plate (900m) and Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) down the straight at Flemington, however he’ll have to change his style on Saturday when he starts left-handed.
The Magic Millions Clockwise Challenge is a preparation run for two-year-old horses ahead of the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic on January 10 at the Gold Coast, which is why it runs right-handed rather than the Victorian favoured left-handed.
O’Brien is confident that the colt’s previous efforts will help him succeed in Saturday’s race.
“He’s a two-year-old that’s just done everything right and each time (he’s raced) he’s stepped up,” O’Brien told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“He had his first trial and he ran second and looked OK, then he went to Bendigo and had a tradesmanlike win and then he’s improved again when he’s gone to Flemington.
“By the time we come home Saturday night he’ll have raced left-handed, right handed and down the straight, so he’ll certainly have done it all.”
Prompt Return will jump from barrier seven in the nine-horse race and is the clear favourite in the Ladbrokes.com.au betting market, paying $2 to win.
The Clockwork Classic will decide whether the colt travels to Queensland for the Magic Millions in January. However O’Brien notes that it will be a very short trip with little preparation.
“He’d probably stay back here,” he said.
“We probably don’t need to go up there and give him another practice right-handed given he’ll have had a trial and a race.
“If we do decide that we’re going up to the Gold Coast we’ll probably leave him here at Flemington and run him here in Melbourne two weeks before the Gold Coast race at Moonee Valley and then probably just fly him up there and run him the week of the race.
The Clockwise Challenge is one of two Magic Millions preparation races running at Ballarat this Saturday, along with the 3YO Classic (1100m).
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