Unencumbered has drawn ideally for the 2yo Classic. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/News Limited
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Unencumbered was the top choice for the Magic Millions 2yo Classic prior to the barrier draw, but it now seems Bjorn Baker’s rocket will have an ‘unencumbered’ run over the 1200 metres at the Gold Coast on Saturday. The Testa Rossa colt, who has won three straight and four of five overall, drew gate three for the $2 million event, and should get a perfect inside run. Last start he easily accounted for highly-rated fillies Oakleigh Girl and Echo Gal , both of whom he will meet on Saturday.
While those two were vying for favouritism with Unencumbered two weeks back, Echo Gal has drifted significantly after her disappointing last start at Doomben was compounded by news she was suffering from thumps. She was cleared by stewards, but drew a wide gate and will have to show some of the form displayed in her maiden win at Warwick Farm in mid-December when hoop Tommy Berry declared her a better horse than Driefontein to have any sort of hope. Oakleigh Girl won at Flemington at Group 3 level and a Listed race at Doomben prior to its surprise fourth in the BJ McLachlan Stakes, and has drawn ideally in six. Fillies have a phenomenal record in this race having won seven of the last eight renewals. They also completed the trifeca between 2010-12 and filled the first four placings in 2013.
Invisible from the Team Hawkes stable has been barely sighted but is an intriguing prospect and looks well placed jumping from gate seven. It debuted with an upset win over Mick Price’s colt Nordic Empire at Canterbury at the end of December over 1200. Nordic Empire was scratched from the race on Wednesday, with Liam Birchley's runner Sagatona getting a start.
In the 3yo Guineas, Gai Waterhouse runner Sweet Idea has been dealt a blow drawing wide in 15 for the 1400-metre race. She placed in both the Magic Millions 2yo Classic and the Golden Slipper last year, then resumed with a second in the Silver Shadow Stakes, but was found to have bled after the race. After a spell, she held off fellow Guineas contender Weinholt in the Wyong Magic Millions 3yo Stakes in mid-December.
After Saluter saluted for him last year in the 3yo race, Jason McLachlan has a red-hot chance of going back-to-back after Enquare drew gate two. She has come up trumps all three starts this campaign including a win in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate at Doomben beating a number of Guineas chances including Missy Longstocking and Splendora .
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