By Glenn Davis
Trainer Barry Baldwin is hoping an old bushman’s tale can help qualify cult figure The Candy Man for next month’s $1 million Magic Millions Trophy at the Gold Coast when he runs at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Candy Man is ineligible for next month’s Magic Millions raceday at the Gold Coast but can gain a wildcard entry for the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy (2400m) if he wins the Magic Millions Shoot Out (2200m).
The Candy Man has won nine of his 20 starts including a resounding last start victory over 1800 metres at Eagle Farm on December 14.
Baldwin believes the six-year-old performs best on rain-affected tracks and recent rain has been music to his ears.
“There’s an old bushie tale that after fires comes rain,” Baldwin said.
“I’m not sure if its right but a lot of graziers out west believe it."
Baldwin was relieved when The Candy Man drew barrier six in the Magic Millions Shoot Out.
“That’s a good alley for him and much better than drawing out wide,” Baldwin said.
“He’s done well since he won last start and they’ll know he’s in the race.
“I think he can win now from that barrier as my biggest fear was drawing wide.”
Baldwin rates interstate raider Morton’s Fork and Queensland Oaks winner Winning Ways as the main dangers to The Candy Man.
“I expect Winning Ways will improve dramatically after her first-up run and Morton’s Fork from Sydney look our biggest dangers,” he said.
Winning Ways is a second-up winner and is unbeaten in three starts over 2200 metres.
The Garry Newham-trained four-year-old was beaten almost seven lengths by The Candy Man when she tailed the field behind the grey in her first run for 10 weeks.
Six-year-old Morton’s Fork has won seven of his 40 starts including his last start win in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) at Randwick on December 14.
Baldwin is hoping The Candy Man can make it to The Magic Millions Trophy to redeem his failure in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane winter carnival.
“He’s not that well weighted in this but I still think he will handle 2400 metres if he wins and gets into the Magic Millions Trophy,” Baldwin said.
“He’s only started once over 2400 metres in the Brisbane Cup but he had a lot of excuses that day when he was caught three wide.”
Racing Queensland webnews December 26