By Glenn Davis
Trainer Tony McEvoy has declared talented filly Sunlight “in the zone” ahead of her final dress rehearsal for Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast on Saturday week.
Sunlight will follow the Houtzen path to the $2 million feature when she steps out in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap (1100m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
McEvoy surprised many when he declared Sunlight needed another run before the Magic Millions Classic after her brilliant victory at the Gold Coast on December 23.
“It wasn’t designed that way to follow the Houtzen path, it was just to get her ready for her grand final,” McEvoy said.
“She was a bit behind and needed another run.
“She’s in the zone and that’s where these babies need to be.”
Sunlight was a $300,000 buy at the Magic Millions sales and is a $7.50 chance for the Magic Millions Classic following her recent victory.
McEvoy is relieved Sunlight has already qualified and there will be no pressure on rider Luke Currie.
“Thankfully she’s in the race and doesn’t have the pressure to win,” McEvoy said.
“She’s clearly there to win but she doesn’t have the pressure like Gai (Waterhouse’s) Terminology and others.”
Terminology was a last start fourth to Jonker in the Magic Millions at Wyong on December 21 and must win to be assured of a start in the Magic Millions Classic.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for all the Magic Millions horses including Tony Gollan’s Ef Troop as it’s very hard to win the race from down south,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy believes experience around the Gold Coast is a crucial factor for visiting runners.
“I think experience is everything. The more you do it the better off you are,” he said.
“She’s an on the pace filly so she’ll be up there somewhere so I just let Luke decide if she has to lead.”
McEvoy also is pressing ahead with Magic Millions Classic start with stablemate Crockett who finished seventh to Meryl in the Group 3 B J McLachlan Stakes at Doomben last week.
“I’m pressing on with Crockett as he just melted in the heat last time,” he said.
However, McEvoy has no doubt who he favours in the Magic Millions Classic.
“Crockett couldn’t get near Sunlight,” he said.
“If they both had clear runs, she’s got many lengths on him.”
McEvoy believes Sunlight has the right constitution for the Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill during the autumn.
Racing Queensland webnews January 4