By Glenn Davis
Trainer Barry Baldwin hopes to end a 20-year break between feature race wins at the Magic Millions with The Candy Man in the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Baldwin cannot fault The Candy Man, who steps up to 2400 metres for only the second time in his career in the 2400-metre feature.
The Candy Man has developed a cult following because of his grey colour and is raced in the same colours as former champion Gunsynd.
He has won three of his past four starts including last month’s The Shoot Out (1800m) at Eagle Farm which gave him a wildcard entry into the Magic Millions Trophy.
At his only 2400 metre start, The Candy Man beat three runners home in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup at Eagle Farm in June.
However, Baldwin excused the run as the then five-year-old was at the end of a long campaign and was forced to travel three deep most of the journey.
Baldwin’s only feature win at the Magic Millions was with former top galloper Arimathea in the Magic Millions All Aged (1400m) in 2000.
“The All Aged was a weight-for-age race and had the second highest prizemoney at the time,” Baldwin said.
“I also ran third with Demanding Miss in the Magic Millions Classic won by Military Rose 10 years ago.
“I’ve got no doubt he’ll run 2400 metre as his brother won over the distance in Sydney and he’s stronger and more determined that most horses.”
Win, lose or draw, Baldwin plans to rest The Candy Man after The Magic Millions Trophy and will aim him for the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) at Randwick in April.
“He’ll come back after the Doncaster and be set for the new Q22 race here in the winter,” he said.
“I’ll see how he’s going at the time but he could also run in the Hollindale Stakes and Doomben Cups.”
The $1.5 million Group 2 EVA Air Q22 (2200m), formerly known as the O'Shea Stakes, will be run at Eagle Farm, the same day as the $1.5 million Group One Stradbroke Handicap and the $1 million Group One J J Atkins in June.
The Candy Man will carry topweight of 61kgs tomorrow and Baldwin is wary he has to concede six kilos to his nearest rival, the Chris Waller-trained Black On Gold.
“I think Black On Gold and Tony Gollan’s A Man To Match are our biggest dangers,” he said.
“I thought A Man To Match might have got an extra half kilo after he won a $250,000 race (The Gateway) and he’s still on the minimum with 54kgs.
“It’s a big weight but he is a 107 rater and the nearest raterd horses to him are on 95.”
Black On Gold finished third in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill in November before a game second to the John Sargent-trained Luvaluva in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Randwick on Boxing Day.
Racing Queensland webnews January 10