By Glenn Davis
Trainer Gary Duncan hopes to get a winter carnival guide on consistent galloper Magnufighter when the gelding tackles the Open Handicap at Doomben on Saturday.
Magnufighter steps up in distance to 2000 metres for only the third time in his 35-start career and will be ridden again by claiming apprentice Corey Bayliss.
Bayliss, who claims two kilos, was aboard the five-year-old when he finished second to the Steve O’dea-trained Sabkhat over 1640 metres at Doomben two weeks ago.
Duncan and Bayliss teamed up to win twice last month with Populist who was successful at the Sunshine Coast and Doomben.
Magnufighter was restricted to sprint races early in his career but Duncan has always believed the son of Magnus was looking for ground.
“He ran well last start but he found the 1600 metres too short and he’s been looking for longer,” Duncan said.
“He ran third in the Queensland Guineas as a three-year-old but he’s always shown he’s wanted a trip.
“This is the first time he’s been out to 2000 metres for some time.”
The last time Magnufighter raced beyond 2000 metres was as a three-year-old when he failed in the Magic Millions Trophy (2200m) at the Gold Coast in January last year.
His only win over 2000 metres or more was at Doomben two starts earlier.
“He should go well but he needs some speed on and he should get that with Boom Boom Epic in the race,” Duncan said.
“If he runs well, I’ll probably run him in the Chairman’s Handicap but I haven’t looked any further into the winter yet.”
The Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) will be run at Doomben on May 30.
Duncan had been training for more than 30 years and moved from Atherton in the State's far north to Caloundra on Queensland's Sunshine Coast eight years ago.
"I was a hobby trainer up north and trained a few horses while I worked as a carpenter," Duncan said.
"I had a bit of luck and won quite a few country Cups with El Qabow who won about 10 country Cups and was a bit of a country legend at the time."
Since settling on the Sunshine Coast, Duncan has trained some useful performers including one of his favourites Bushy and the ill-fated Tversky.
Racing Queensland webnews May 1