By Glenn Davis
A wide barrier will prevent trainer Ben Currie from a tactical experiment with unbeaten Magic Millions Classic hopeful Mishani Spirit in the Group 3 Bruce McLachlan Stakes at Doomben on Saturday.
Mishani Spirit won her first start by four lengths over 1050 metres on her home track at Toowoomba in October then cruised to an easy win over 900 metres at the Gold Coast on December 8.
On both occasions, Mishani Spirit showed blistering speed to lead all the way but it was Currie’s intentions, until the barrier draw, to have her ridden off the pace at her first attempt over 1200 metres in the Bruce McLachlan Stakes.
Currie admitted Mishani Spirit has flown under the radar to qualify for the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 12 in which she is an $11 chance.
“She flew under the radar when she won at Toowoomba but she was very impressive at the Gold Coast which brought her into calculations for the Magic Millions,” Currie said.
“She’s very quick and from her alley (barrier 12) she’ll have to be ridden for speed again.
“I don’t think she’s purely a speed horse as she relaxes so well and has come back under her riders in both her wins.
“I would have liked to use this race as an experiment to see if she could take a sit but from the barrier, she’s got no options but to lead.”
Currie has never had a Magic Millions Classic runner and looked at the race’s history before giving Mishani Spirit her first 1200-metre test.
“I wanted to give her a go over 1200 metres before the Magic Millions,” he said.
“If you have a look at past winners of the Magic Millions, most have had a 1200 metre run going into it that’s why we elected to go for the Bruce McLachlan.”
Currie has dismissed the Tony McEvoy-trained Sun City as a threat to Mishani Spirit despite the colt’s second to The Odyssey in the Listed Phelan Ready Stakes at Doomben on December 15.
“I’m not too worried about Sun City or any of the others except McEvoy’s first starter Just Zerene who has a big wrap on her.
"She probably looks the one to beat along with Peter and Paul Snowden’s colt, Rome,” he said.
Meanwhile Mishani Spirit’s older sibling Mishani Hustler will chase a wildcard entry for the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas when the colt runs in the Listed Falvelon Quality (1110m).
“He’s a half brother to Mishani Spirit and he's going super," Currie said.
"He’s been thrown in the deep end into an open company three-year-old race to try to get a wildcard into the Magic Millions Guineas.
“Three-year-old open sprint races are always tough and it might be too hard but we’re giving it a go.”
Mishani Hustler was one of Queensland’s star two-year-olds during the winter winning the Listed Dalrello Stakes at Doomben in April before being placed behind Zousain in the Group 2 Champagne Classic at Doomben in May.
Racing Queensland webnews December 28