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Rival MM trainers unfazed by bad barriers

By Glenn Davis

The two Tony’s - McEvoy and Gollan – have put positive spins on their Magic Millions Classic hopes after their top chances Sunlight and Ef Troop drew badly in the $2 million feature at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Both trainers will be dual represented in the 1200-metre feature but the barrier draw was unkind to the McEvoy-trained Sunlight who drew 15 while Gollan’s Ef Troop drew even wider in gate 18.

If the emergencies don’t gain starts, both will jump from 12 and 13 respectively.

The McEvoy-trained Crockett drew barrier 10 while Gollan’s other runner Outback Barbie drew six.

The barrier draw had an immediate impact on Magic Millions betting with UBET.

EF Troopy is now $4.00 favourite with Sunlight at $4.20 while the David Atkins-trained Jonker is at $4.50.

McEvoy was hoping for a “middle” draw and wasn’t too disappointed with Sunlight’s alley.

“It’s an OK draw. I didn’t want to draw completely out or completely in,” McEvoy said.

“It allows her to go forward and still be on the back of them.

“From that draw we’ll be able to work off the back of Ef Troop.”

Gollan expected Ef Troop to still get into his stride early from his draw and wasn’t letting it diminish the colt’s chances.

“I suppose he could be a bit closer in but it’s not a disaster,” Gollan said.

McEvoy has followed the Houtzen path into the Magic Millions Classic with the filly backing-up a week after her Gold Coast demolition last Saturday.

The Toby Edmonds-trained Houtzen did the same last year before winning the Magic Millions Classic.

“It’s a very difficult race to win as you don’t get this type of humidity back home,” McEvoy said.

Sunlight is attempting to become only the second South Australian to win the Magic Millions Classic following Augusta Proud’s win in 2008.

McEvoy hasn’t ruled out Crocket figuring in the finish following his last start seventh to Meryl at Doomben on December 30.

“I’m putting a bubble cheek and blinkers on him as well as a tongue-tie,” McEvoy said.

“He had a meltdown parading before his last start.

“He’s a good colt who will race off the pace and I’ll be watching for him late.”

Sydney raider Pierata dominates betting for the Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) after drawing the rails.

The Greg Hickman-trained colt is chasing $1.7 million in prizemoney including a $500,000 Summer Crown bonus if successful.

Racing Queensland webnews   January 10