By Glenn Davis
Trainer Barry Baldwin believes luck in running will play a vital role as to whether The Candy Man can continue his unbeaten Doomben record in the Listed Brisbane Handicap on Saturday.
The Candy Man has drawn barrier three in the 1600-metre feature and is unbeaten in three starts at Doomben, a statistic that bemuses Baldwin.
The six-year-old returned from a luckless spring campaign in Sydney to win the Mooloolaba Cup (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast last month.
“He’ll need some luck as usual and I would have been more confident had the race been at Eagle Farm,” Baldwin said.
“But having said that he’s three from three at Doomben so I’m probably being a bit over cautious.”
The Candy Man’s cult like following will gain another layer of supporters if the grey can take his record to nine wins from only 19 starts.
Baldwin said The Candy Man had done everything right since his Mooloolaba Cup victory and will continue to target the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast next month.
The Candy Man’s last start rider Matt McGillivray has retained the mount with regular jockey Michael Cahill still sidelined after breaking his foot and suffering a fall at his Gold Coast home last month.
“Michael is still out but Matt did a great job to win on him last start,” Baldwin said.
“Michael is his normal rider but with him being out this will give Matt the chance to improve his record on him.”
Baldwin plans to back-up The Candy Man in an Open Quality over 1800 metres at Eagle Farm on Saturday week on the road to the Magic Millions.
“I’ve decided to back him up next week over 1800 metres at Eagle Farm then run two weeks later in the Shoot Out (2200m) at Doomben on December 28,” Baldwin said.
“The Shoot Out winner gets a wildcard into the Magic Millions.
“I had to plan it that way and back him up next week as it’s the only way he can get to the Magic Millions without being overtaxed.
“He’s done everything right since his win at Caloundra and he hasn’t gone backwards.”
Baldwin rates the Kacy Fogden-trained Doubt Defying as the main threat to The Candy Man.
“Doubt Defying’s run against us at Caloundra when he ran seventh was very good and he looks the improver in the race,” he said.
Racing Queensland webnews December 4