Magnufighter is ready for battle
RACING: While it’s a stepping stone, Gary ‘Jack’ Duncan is still expecting Magnufighter to be more than competitive when he jumps at Corbould Park.
The consistent five-year-old gelding has the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) as his main target in a fortnight’s time but is primed to contest the shorter $125,000 Wayne Wilson Handicap (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club as sixth favourite today.
While it’s a “bit short” for him, Magnufighter is relishing favourable form, having placed in six of his seven races since returning from spell in February.
And Duncan was optimistic his charge could maintain the consistency against a strong field of genuine “milers” from barrier seven in the Listed race with jockey Corey Bayliss in the saddle.
“It’ll be a very competitive sort of race for him, especially over a mile,” Duncan said.
“It is a good field and they’re probably the best milers around the place.”
Duncan was hopeful Magnufighter wouldn’t just be among the frontrunners but have a shot at taking the overall win.
“We’d certainly be hoping (he could win), it wouldn’t surprise me if he knocks them off,” he said.
“He’s beaten most of them before.”
Fellow Sunshine Coast horse Baccarat Baby, trained by David Vandyke, is race favourite.
While eager to see Magnufighter succeed, Duncan was eyeing up the longer Chairman’s handicap at Doomben as the main target.
“This 1600m race is just one in between and we’re using it for a bit of a stepping stone for that,” he said
Magnufighter won’t be Duncan’s only runner on the day, with three others set for competitive tilts.
Dzsenifer will contend the $65,000 two-year-old plate and Wapiti will race hard in the $65,000 three-year-old handicap.
Meanwhile, Duncan will unleash Populist in the race two $65,000 benchmark 90 handicap.
The four-year-old gelding enters the race as favourite.
“He’s been racing really good and has been winning or coming second,” he said.
Aside from Duncan and Vandyke, Caloundra trainer Stuart Kendrick is also set to have runners hunting big wins.
Among them is Tarzan who will be attempting to win his second Listed race when he resumes in the Chief De Beers Handicap (1000m).