The differing barrier draw fortunes of Lindsay Park’s Magic Millions Classic runners has trainer Tom Dabernig favouring Claudia Jean as the stable’s leading chance.
The David Hayes and Dabernig training partnership also has Miss Idyllic in Saturday’s $2 million race at the Gold Coast but her chances were dealt a blow when she came up with barrier 19.
Impressive Flemington debut winner Claudia Jean will jump from barrier one and she retains joint favouritism at $6 with Frequendly (barrier four) and Wicked Intent (barrier five).
“I think you’d have to probably favour Claudia Jean (over Miss Idyllic) from that gate,” Dabernig said.
Miss Idyllic’s price was turned out from $11 to $14.
She will jump from gate 14 of 16 should the five emergencies not gain a start.
“We can’t complain too much with Claudia Jean in barrier one but with Miss Idyllic it makes things a little tough from out there,” Dabernig said.
He noted Mirror Mirror in 2006 was the last horse to win the Magic Millions Classic from a double-digit barrier.
“She (Miss Idyllic) has got a lot more race experience, we just would have preferred to draw a bit better barrier,” he said.
“But the other horse, Claudia Jean, obviously gets the fence which is a big advantage at only her second start.”
Trainer Liam Birchley is hoping his overall success on Magic Millions day will finally translate into a Classic win.
Birchley has three runners, more than any other trainer.
All three – Saga Of The Storm, Flamenco and Pepperano – are fillies and are owned by women, making them eligible for a $500,000 bonus.
Birchley has made an art form of getting fillies into the Classic with Paprika running second in 2009, Missy Longstocking third in 2013 and Ruby Soho also running third last year.
“Paprika was the one who didn’t have much luck. Still the winner Phelan Ready went on to win the Golden Slipper,” Birchley said.
However, it isn’t just in the Classic where Birchley has made his mark.
He has won the Magic Millions Cup with Pepperwood and also the Magic Millions Sprint with Shamrock Slipper and Helter Skelter.