After considering a Flemington start during Melbourne Cup week for Garrard, trainer Trent Busuttin has opted to start the filly’s career at Ballarat.
The Cranbourne-based Busuttin, who trains in partnership with Natalie Young, was swayed by the $200,000 prize money in Saturday’s Magic Millions Clockwise Classic.
As well as the big purse, the race carries the potential to run for even more on the Gold Coast in January,
A $120,000 yearling at the Gold Coast sale, Garrard won a jump-out under Mark Zahra at Ballarat leading throughout, but Busuttin knows Saturday to be a tougher assignment.
“Mark Zahra was of the opinion that she isn’t a mad-dash 1000 metre type of horse and she’d probably be better ridden back a bit,” Busuttin said.
“Maybe it’s not the ideal race to ping her off in but it’s a $200,000 race and she trialled well up there.”
Garrard faces up to 10 opponents on Saturday with only two of the 11 youngsters having previously faced the starter.
While Garrard began quickly in her Ballarat trial Busuttin is expecting a lot more pressure on Saturday.
“It might be different on raceday when you’ve got to ping out and get going real hard,” Busuttin said.
“And she’s drawn seven which is not ideal.
“We’ll find out a bit more about her, but really we’re all in the same boat.”
Busuttin is hoping the filly performs well on Saturday and can make her way to January’s Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic at the Gold Coast.
“There’s a $2 million reason for us wanting to be at the Gold Coast but with two-year-olds they’re there one day and gone the next,” Busuttin said.
“Hopefully she can ping the lids (on Saturday) and put herself in the race and if she does she’ll run well.”
Garrard is an easing second favourite at $4.80 behind the Lindsay Park-trained American Genius at $3.60.
The best supported are the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained debutant Algorithm, firming from $11 to $8.50, and the Darren Weir-trained Artstrum, backed from $15 to $8.