Cao Cao has pressed his claims for the rich Magic Millions 2YO Classic with a convincing win at Moonee Valley.
Giving trainer Mick Price an early winning double from the first two races on Saturday, Cao Cao sprinted to a 2-3/4 length win at his second start.
“He looks like he’s got a ticket to the Magic Millions now,” Price said.
Nowl Price has to work out the best way to get to the Gold Coast race in January.
“He’s a tough colt,” Price said.
“He’s just got to be kept up for the Magic Millions … the trick will be to nurse him in.”
Cao Cao, a $350,000 yearling by Fastnet Rock, ran well on debut for second in the Group Three Maribyrnong Plate and was sent out a drifting $4 favourite on Saturday.
After settling just behind the main speed in a field of nine, Cao Cao had to get chasing as first starter Blackwolf Run kicked in the lead.
But Cao Cao picked up strongly early in the straight and swept to the front passing the 100m before forging clear to defeat well-backed Kedleston ($4.80) with another short half-head to Blackwolf Run.
Jockey Mark Zahra says Cao Cao is still green and was “a bit above himself” but was impressed by the way he found the line.
“He was playing up a bit pre-race and he got a bit over-racing in the run,” Zahra said.
“But I just like the way that when I came off the bit, he actually picked up well.
“He was really strong through the line. It was impressive.”
Price earlier won with three-year-old filly Heavenly Descent who notched her third win in less than three weeks.