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White-hot Lane is Gold Coast bound

Globetrotting jockey Damian Lane will look to continue his white-hot form at the Gold Coast on Saturday with the Group 1 winner booked to ride Conceited in the $125,000 Aquis Gold Nugget.

Having enjoyed a stellar 2019, Lane will touch down in Queensland to ride the two-year-old colt at Aquis Park ahead of the $2 million The Star Magic Millions 2YO Classic the following week.

“Damian is really looking forward to getting up to the Gold Coast this week,” Lane’s manager Dean Hawkes said.

“If all goes well this week aboard Conceited, Damian will take him through to the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on 11 January and look to carry on his recent success.

“We’re working towards ensuring he has a few other rides throughout the Carnival as well.”

Having won last year’s Classic with Exhilarates, James Cummings will look to replicate the template for Godolphin by backing Conceited up the following week.

A $625,000 purchase during the 2019 Magic Millions yearling sale, Conceited, who presently sits 14th in the ballot order, was a first-up winner at Flemington earlier this month with Lane steering him to a narrow debut victory.

"Three weeks ago when he had his first jumpout he was really green,” Lane told racing.com following the debut win.

“He had blinkers in his last jumpout and that sparked him up a little bit.

"It was the first time he was really tested and it was good to see him respond.

"I wouldn't put anything past him just because how much he has improved already this prep, but I would be surprised (if he won the Magic Millions) because for mine he's more of a three-year-old type."

Lane capped off a sensational year two weeks ago aboard Cox Plate winner Lys Gracieux, taking out the 2500 metre Group 1 Arima Kinen in Japan and defeating short-priced favourite Almond Eye in the process.

The Arima Kinen was the cherry on top of a year that saw Lane take out three of “the big four” in Australian racing, with the Melbourne Cup the only crown jewel to elude him.

His first major success of the year came in March, leading another Godolphin-trained youngster in Kiamichi to victory in the Longines Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens.

Lane headed off to Japan in April, where he first teamed up with Japanese superstars Mer De Glace and Lys Gracieux, piloting the latter to a Group 1 victory in the Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin.

The 25-year-old returned to Australia for the Spring Carnival, where he once again took the reigns on board the two Japanese raiders, riding Mer De Glace and Lys Gracieux to Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate victories respectively.

In addition to Lane, some of the world’s finest riders are confirmed starters on the Gold Coast over the next fortnight with Frankie Dettori and Hugh Bowman among those in attendance.