Glyn Schofield is expecting his Wyong Magic Millions Classic mount Zoutenant to improve significantly on his debut performance and so are punters.
The Kevin Moses-trained colt has been installed early favourite for the $200,000 race for two-year-olds which is a key lead-up to next month’s $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast.
Unencumbered won both races last season and Schofield is hoping Zoutenant can take the first step towards emulating the deeds of that colt with victory at Wyong.
Zoutenant will take on 11 rivals, six of them first starters, and the tight-turning Wyong circuit should suit the on-pace youngster.
“He’s quick, he’s tractable. He jumped and led (at his first start) and he was pretty strong except the last furlong (200m) where he got tired, so it shouldn’t hold any worries for him,” Schofield said.
“Race experience always counts. It’s always helpful. He’s had that so he ticks a few boxes.”
Zoutenant finished second to Voilier on a soft track at Rosehill earlier this month.
While he made an appearance at the official two-year-old trials in September, finishing second to subsequent Breeders Plate winner Vancouver, he did not trial again before his debut.
Schofield said the colt’s lack of match practice told at the finish and he would head to Wyong a much fitter horse.
“It was a good test for him. It was 1100, soft track and he was without a trial so he did well to acquit himself the way he did. He will improve without doubt on that effort,” Schofield said.
Zoutenant is prominent in betting for the Gold Coast feature at $13 and Schofield is booked to ride him in the $2 million race.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Echo Gal is pre-post favourite for the Wyong Magic Millions 3YO Stakes from which Tetsuko is an early scratching.
Meanwhile, Schofield reported his jockey son Chad was making good progress from injuries sustained in a race fall at Geelong on December 7.
Chad fractured two vertebrae and underwent surgery to a deep wound to an arm.
“He’s had all his cast removed, he’s got movement in his arm and his strength. He’s comfortable,” Glyn Schofield said.
“His back is fine. So he’s on the mend.”