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Mr Bellagio back to his favourite distance

By Glenn Davis

Talented sprinter Mr Bellagio will return to his favoured distance at Eagle Farm on Saturday ahead of a possible summer carnival campaign.

Trainer Toby Edmonds will be guided by the six-year-old’s performance in the Open Handicap over the 1400-metre trip before determining if he may be a contender for the summer sprints.

Edmonds, who trains in partnership with son Trent, was delighted with the gelding’s effort when sixth to Bandipur in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes over 1200 metres on July 18.

“I thought his run in the Eye Liner was terrific and he’ll run well again especially if we get some rain,” Edmonds said.

“He’s back to 1400 metres which is a more suitable distance for him and if he goes well, we may look at the summer sprints.”

Mr Bellagio has won nine times in 37 starts but has failed in all 11 attempts over 1200 metres.

He will be ridden by Ryan Maloney after drawing perfectly in barrier four.

A son of O’Lonhro, Mr Bellagio was originally trained by Liam Birchley but has been in Edmonds’ care for his last nine starts which included a hat-trick of wins at the Gold Coast and Doomben in April and May.

He’s back to 1400 metres which is a more suitable distance for him and if he goes well, we may look at the summer sprints

Edmonds also will saddle up Xerri - an Andrew Mallyon mount - in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap.

Xerri, a son of Snitzel, hasn’t raced since winning narrowly at Doomben in March but has had a solid grounding with two barrier trials for his return.

Edmonds decided against accepting with talented gelding Astro Boy Toy, a $260,000 buy at the 2018 Magic Millions sales, in the Class Three Plate (1200m).

Astro Boy Toy is by super sire Deep Field out of multiple stakes winning galloper Johan’s Toy, who was runner-up in a Doncaster and Epsom Handicap for the late Sydney trainer Guy Walter. 

Astro Boy Toy has started six times for three wins including a first-up victory over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm on July 15.

“He’s got a very good pedigree but he was only a 50-50 chance of running and we’ve decided to wait another week after he had a tough run first-up with 60kgs,” he said.

Edmonds hasn’t ruled out sending Astro Boy Toy to Sydney with stablemate Vanna Girl who is being aimed at the Group 1 Epsom Handicap at Randwick in October.

Vanna Girl emerged as one of the State’s best three-year-olds last season after winning three straight Stakes races.

She won the Listed Daybreak Lover and Listed Pam O’Neill at Doomben before the Group 2 The Roses at Eagle Farm throughout the winter feature program.

Mr Bellagio