By Glenn Davis
Talented gelding Couldn’t Refuse is unlikely to head to next month’s big dance at the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast even if he wins over his favoured distance at Doomben on Wednesday.
Trainer Desleigh Forster accepted with Couldn’t Refuse in two races – the Benchmark 70 Handicap over 1350 metres and the Benchmark 75 Handicap over 1650 metres.
However, the astute Eagle Farm trainer chose the longer Benchmark race and booked Jim Byrne after drawing well in both events.
Couldn’t Refuse is a full brother to Forster’s former top performer Too Good To Refuse who won five of his 36 starts and more than $500,000 in prizemoney.
His best win was in the Listed Keith Noud Stakes over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm in 2016.
However, he was generally regarded as a middle-distance performer having run a close fifth in the Group 1 Champion Stakes over 2000 metres behind Vanbrugh in 2015.
Forster has been patient with Couldn’t Refuse, whose career has been restricted to 17 starts for three wins – all over 1600 metres.
Couldn’t Refuse has had only two starts back from a winter campaign which saw him finishing ninth to Supergiant in the Group 3 Gunsynd over 1800 metres at Eagle Farm in May.
He beat only one home in a field of seven behind Jetski over an unsuitable 1200 metres at the Sunshine Coast last month, before a vastly improved second to Angus The Black in a set-weight Class Four race over 1350 metres at Doomben on December 11.
“He’s going to the mile race mainly because it looks an easier race on paper,” Forster said.
“Jim Byrne is riding him and he knows the horse well and he’ll give him every chance.
“He’s won over 1600 metres and it’s probably his best distance at this stage so I’m hoping he’ll be very competitive.”
Forster is not looking too far ahead with Couldn’t Refuse and doubts he’ll be at the big dance on Magic Millions day at the Gold Coast next month.
“He’s eligible for the Magic Millions but I doubt he’ll go that way,” she said.
“But we’ll just have to wait and see how he performs.”
Forster has had some luck in recent years at the Magic Millions winning the QTIS Magic Millions in 2019 with Chapter And Verse, who then ran fourth in this year’s race won by Outback Barbie.