John Moloney could have sent well-performed filly Scorched Earth for bigger prizes in Magic Millions races on the Gold Coast but decided against it to keep her racing in Melbourne over more suitable distances.
“The distances of the Gold Coast races weren’t right for her going out to 1300 and 1400 metres and she might be a bit too quick for those types of races,” Moloney told RSN.
Instead, the last start winner at Flemington over 1000 metres at benchmark 78 level steps up to the benchmark 84 Andrea McKerley Handicap over 1100 metres at Caulfield with Damien Oliver aboard.
Marked the second favourite at $3.90 after Sportsbet’s early markets had her at $7, Scorched Earth brings with her a consistent record of three wins and to placings in eight starts.
Take fourth placings into account and the filly by Nicconi has another two of those on her report card.
Moloney says that she is handling her racing and is well up to winning tomorrow but a tricky gate, barrier 14 from the chute at Caulfield, is less ideal.
“She’s come through it really well but this will be a different task,” Moloney said.
“Barrier 14 from the 1100 metre start will make the job a little bit harder for her but we trust in her ability and trust in her ability and hopefully she can do really well.
“It’s not the best but in one of her runs earlier in the spring she was able to come across from the wide gate and just got run down.
“We’d definitely prefer to be in five or six where you’re just nailed into the race but here you’re waiting for things to happen in and around you and then take a spot close enough and hope to be good enough when the time comes.”
A $90,000 purchase from the Magic Millions Sales, Scorched Earth can surpass the $400,000 mark should she win tomorrow.
“She’s proved herself to be a good buy,” Moloney adds.
“She’s trained on really well, she’s a strong filly that eats really well and doesn’t need a lot.
“Being athletic she doesn’t have to be charged up too much to keep her in order.
“She hasn’t gone backwards.”
Another win could have Moloney considering greater options, or not.
“If she can do well against these handicapping horses as a three-year-old filly it might open up a little more,” he said.
“The Oakleigh Plate? Do you do that?”
“Maybe fillies grade but it gives you hope.”