Trainer Brendon McCarthy will leave nothing to chance with blinkers to go on Murt The Flirt when he runs in the $1 million Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast.
A debut winner at Ballarat in November, Murt The Flirt raced greenly in his first clockwise outing when a close fifth to fellow Guineas contender Aerobar at Wyong on December 18.
McCarthy said Murt The Flirt had trialled in blinkers during his first preparation before being turned out without racing.
He worked and trialled without the blinkers before scoring an impressive debut win at Ballarat.
But with big prize money on offer McCarthy wants to cover all the bases.
“We trialled him this time in without them and he was going well enough, so we thought we’d wait until we really need them,” McCarthy said.
“He had a jump-out in them last Tuesday and went super.”
Despite finishing fifth at Wyong, McCarthy said if the gelding had the blinkers on in that race he was sure he would have finished a lot closer.
He said the experience of racing right-handed for the first time at Wyong, when ridden by Brenton Avdulla, would also be a benefit as would the step up from 1200 to 1400 metres on Saturday.
“I reckon three strides past the post he was a half-length in front,” McCarthy said.
“It was only when things really cleared up that he really took a dive.
“Brenton said he really ran through the line, so we’re stepping up from a 1200 to 1400, so those sorts of things matter when you’re going up in distance.”
Avdulla, who rides Murt The Flirt in the $1 million Guineas, has been riding the gelding in work, reporting to McCarthy the gelding is in excellent shape.