By Glenn Davis
Sydney trainer Bjorn Baker knows the pressure rival trainer Greg Hickman must be feeling ahead of the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Rewind 12 months and Baker was feeling the same heat with former glamour colt Winning Rupert, who like Hickman's favourite Pierata, was chasing a $500,000 Summer Crown bonus if he won the Magic Millions Guineas (1400m).
However, the colt only managed fourth to $101 outsider Flying Jess and never raced again after being injured.
Like Winning Rupert, the Greg Hickman-trained Pierata is coming off a last start win in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate and has drawn ideally in barrier one.
However, only one horse, Tippitaka in 2015 has been successful from the rails.
Baker saddles up Goodfella, barrier six, and is hoping his fortunes can change in the Magic Millions Guineas at his third attempt.
“I had Egyptian Symbol run an unlucky third after being held up for a run two years ago and last year Winning Rupert ran fourth,” Baker said.
“It’s a big race and I know how Greg must be feeling. There’s always pressure on you but it’s a great race to win.
“Invariably the pressure is always on no matter what the race and I think Goodfella will be hard to beat.”
Baker has Goodfella’s preparation timed to the minute.
Goodfella ran fourth to Houtzen in last year’s Magic Millions Classic as a two-year-old and has three wins and as many placings from his 12-start career.
The son of Snitzel started his current campaign when he tailed a field of eight in the Listed Heritage Stakes at Randwick on September 16.
He won his next two starts including the Listed Brian Cowley Stakes at Randwick in October before failing in the Group 1 The Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington in November.
He was then rested for a month before Baker sent him to Queensland for his Magic Millions campaign.
“He’s in great order and barrier six is perfect for him,” Baker said.
“He’s won over 1400 metres at Randwick so the distance is ideal.”
In latest markets Goodfella is a $10 chance behind $2.25 favourite Pierata.
Racing Queensland webnews January 11