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Magic Millions dilemma for Kendrick after The Gateway

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Stu Kendrick is likely to push ahead during the summer with in-form sprinter Tambo’s Mate and attempt to qualify for next month’s Magic Millions Cup irrespective of whether the four-year-old wins The Gateway at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The $250,000 feature over 1400 metres will be run for the first time and carries a ballot free exemption for next year’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm.

Kendrick has the option of pulling up stumps for the summer if Tambo’s Mate can earn an automatic Stradbroke start or proceed to the $1m Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 11.

Tambo’s Mate is ineligible for the Magic Millions Cup but can qualify if he wins a wildcard race.

“He’ll need to win a wildcard race in two weeks if he’s to get into the Magic Millions Cup,” Kendrick said.

“If he wins The Gateway he’ll more than likely still press on towards the wildcard race and hopefully qualify for the Magic Millions.”

The wildcard race Kendrick has in mind for Tambo’s Mate is The Buffering (1400m) at Eagle Farm on December 28.

Tambo’s Mate has won seven of his 12 starts and passed a distance test with flying colours last start when successful at his first attempt past 1200m metres in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1350m) at Doomben last month.

Kendrick believes the set weight conditions of The Gateway should favour his four-year-old who continues to thrive.

“I’m really happy with him since he won The Recognition Stakes and his work on Saturday morning was great,” Kendrick said.

“This looks a nice race for him this week but there’s a few other good horses in it too.

“Outback Barbie looks the one to beat again. She’s a quality mare and is racing well.”

Kendrick believes Tambo’s Mate’s first win past 1200 metres was no fluke and he expects him to be in the finish again.

“He was very strong through the line in the Recognition and he’s been looking for these longer races for some time,” he said.

“I thought at his start before when Outback Barbie beat him over 1200 metres in the (Listed) Keith Noud he was looking for 1400 metres then.

“I’ll wait and see how he pulls up after Saturday whether we try to qualify for the Magic Millions but at this stage it’s likely he’ll go to The Buffering.

“If he doesn’t go on to the Magic Millions, we’ll pull up stumps and concentrate on the Stradbroke next year with him.”

Racing Queensland webnews    December 11