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Crack Me Up on target for Villiers after Recognition Stakes win.

By Glenn Davis

Exciting prospect Crack Me Up took a vital step towards a start in next month’s Group 2 Villiers Stakes in Sydney with commanding win in the Listed Recognition Stakes at Doomben on Saturday.

Crack Me Up, superbly ridden by Matt McGillivray, outclassed his opposition to score by 1-1/4 lengths over Torgersen with a similar magin to third placegetter, Hopfgarten.

The four-year-old put the writing on the wall for his Recognition Stakes victory with an eye-catching second at Doomben on November 11 in his first appearance since the Brisbane winter carnival.

Crack Me Up showed he had a big future during the winter by winning the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) and the Listed Tattersall’s Mile (1600m) at Doomben in July.

Trainer Liam Birchley has earmarked the Villiers Stakes at Randwick for Crack Me Up even though he is eligible for the gala Magic Millions raceday at the Gold Coast on January 13.

“Things worked out really well for him today and it was a very good win,” Birchley said.

“He had to shift ground a few times but he finished the race off very strongly.

“He’ll run next in the Brisbane Handicap and if he’s still going well he’ll go to Sydney for the Villiers.

“Unfortunately, there’s no race suitable for him at the Magic Millions.”

Meanwhile promising Caloundra colt Magnufighter boosted his chances of qualifying for the Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) with a narrow win in the Carlton Mid QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1350m).

Magnufighter, ridden by Damian Browne, got back in the early stages before gaining a rails run to score by a long head over Boom Boom Epic.

Former Sydneysider Colosimo was third, a further 1-1/4 lengths away.

Magnufighter’s win was his third from six starts and maintained his unblemished record this campaign after scoring a similar win first-up in class one grade at Doomben on November 7.

The son of Magnus was an $85,000 buy at the Magic Millions sales and showed he had a bright future during the Brisbane winter carnival when placed in the Listed The Phoenix at Doomben in June.

“He’s a nice horse and will only get better,” said trainer Gary Duncan.

“I put blinkers on him for the first time today as the plan is to get him into the Magic Millions Guineas but he might need another win to qualify.

“He hasn’t enough money yet to get into the race so I’ll probably have to start him again in two or three weeks.”

Racing Queensland webnews   November 25