The Ron Quinton-trained Royal Celebration is one...
The Magic Millions Guineas campaign of Alligator Blood kicks off this Saturday in Brisbane with the David Vandyke-trained favourite racing first-up in the 2019 Gold Edition Plate.
The well-bred All Too Hard gelding began his career in the best way possible winning his opening five career starts including Caulfield’s Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
Alligator Blood then suffered his first defeat but lost few admirers when the Sunshine Coast-based bay finished a nostril-flare second when nailed right on the line by Super Set in the Group 1 $2 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 12.
Sent to the paddock for a freshen-up after the Group 1, the gelding resumes at Eagle Farm Racecourse on the weekend as the one to beat in the Listed $200,000 Gold Edition Plate (1200m).
He was brought on fitness-wise ahead of the set weights sprint with a winning home track barrier trial at the Sunshine Coast on November 26.
Undefeated first-up, Alligator Blood currently pays $1.65 through Ladbrokes.com.au to return to winning form in the Gold Edition Plate betting markets for this summer.
“He’s forward enough to win as he only had two weeks off after the Caulfield Guineas,” Vandyke told Racing Queensland this week.
The race serves as a stepping-stone towards the Gold Coast on January 11 where Alligator Blood will run in the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m), but whether he also runs in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate (1400m) in Brisbane in between will be hot-weather dependent.
“I’ve got the Vo Rogue penciled in for him next start, but I might sidestep it and give him a barrier trial instead,” Vandyke said.
“This is a hot time of the year and the heat and humidity can knock horses around, so I don’t want to jeopardise the Magic Millions in anyway.
“He’s come on well and won a barrier trial since he’s been back in work and he’s in great shape.”
He also leads all-in 2020 Magic Millions Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au currently at $3.20 for the lucrative Restricted Listed feature sitting ahead of Thursday’s Wyong Magic Millions Stakes winner Diamond Thunder ($6).
Looking further ahead, Vandyke is eyeing the $5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield in March with Alligator Blood who would surely get a vote into the second edition of the lucrative autumn feature.
“He could possibly head to the All-Star Mile after the Magic Millions,” he said.
“The Australian Guineas is also a possibility at Caulfield where we know he runs well.”
The other shortest priced galloper in the Gold Edition Plate odds this summer is the rails-drawn The Odyssey ($4.60) prepared locally by Kelly Schweida.
The Better Than Ready colt has had 11 starts to date for an impressive record of five wins and three other minor placings including a three-from-five record over the distance.
His last start was on November 2 at the track and distance when enjoying a barnstorming four length victory in a three-year-old handicap carrying 57kg.
An 8.5 length Doomben barrier trail winner over 1000m on December 3, The Odyssey will definitely make his presence felt in the Gold Edition Plate from barrier one.
Last year’s winning trainer Tony Gollan (Zoustyle, 2018) meanwhile is represented by the early market mover Le Palmier ($14 into $10) drawn gate four.
Matthew McGillivray retains the ride on the Spirit Of Boom gelding who comes off a winning lead-up at Doomben on November 30 in the Winning Rupert (1200m).
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