By Glenn Davis
It will be the last throw of the dice for several Magic Millions Classic aspirants in two States on Saturday but trainer Gary Moore is hopeful of sneaking into the $2 million field with Paquirri at the Gold Coast.
Paquirri faces a smart field of juveniles including Adelaide filly Sunlight in the QTIS Two-Year-old Handicap (1200m).
Sunlight rocketed into calculation for the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on Saturday week with a brilliant win at the Gold Coast on December 23.
Despite a near five length win, trainer Tony McEvoy believed Sunlight was still too soft and needed another run before the Magic Millions Classic.
Paquirri wore winkers for the first time when hauled in by Katy’s Daughter over 900 metres at the Gold Coast the same day.
Moore believes Paquirri has taken a great deal of improvement from his first Queensland outing and hopes the colt will give him only his second Magic Millions Classic runner.
Moore’s sole Magic Millions Classic runner was Plushenko who finished 12th to Testa Rossa in 1999.
“It’s a tough race and we’re up against a great filly in Sunlight,” Moore said.
“She ran a slightly faster time than us but my fellow will appreciate the step up up in distance to 1200 metres and has improved considerably.”
Moore was a former champion jockey in Europe and won seven premierships in Hong Kong before returning to Australia to train.
To date, he’s trained one Group 1 winner with Takedown in the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth in 2016.
Moore has been impressed with Paquirri’s trackwork since his last appearance but is unsure how the colt will cope if rain intervenes.
“He worked over 800 metres at the Gold Cost on Tuesday and felt really strong,” he said.
“He missed the start last time but that probably had more to do with wearing winkers for the first time.
“He’s better ridden off the speed as he’s only got a short run.
“I’m not sure how he’ll handle things if we get rain. They’ve had some rain at the Gold Coast and the grass track was closed on Tuesday so we couldn’t get a guide on how he’d handle a wet track.”
Meanwhile Moore believes All Too Huiying will peak at the right time for his Magic Million Trophy assignment after tackling the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1800m).
All Too Huiying tried valiantly to lead all the way over the same trip when runner-up to Boom Boom Epic on December 23.
“All Too Huiying was having his first run in 42 days and needed the run last time,” he said.
“He’s got a very good chance and he needs this run so he’ll be rock hard fit for the Magic Millions Trophy.”
Racing Queensland webnews January 3