The presence of dual Group One winner Lucky Hussler in the Magic Millions Cup has trainer Brendan McCarthy thinking the Sprint might be a better option for Murt The Flirt.
Murt The Flirt is nominated for Cup (1400m) and Sprint (1100m) on Saturday at the Gold Coast, both $1 million races.
“We’re still up in the air at the moment which one we’ll actually go for because apparently Buffering is not going for the 1100-metre race,” McCarthy said.
Star Queensland sprinter Buffering is instead expected to tackle the $1 million QTIS Open over 1300m.
“Murt The Flirt has got the versatility where he can go for either the 1100 or the 1400,” McCarthy said.
“The initial idea was to go for the 1400 but with Lucky Hussler in the race, if it was a handicap we should be getting about 16 kilos off him.
“At the moment the 1100 metre race looks like it could be the easier race, but we’ll leave our options open at the moment anyway.”
Trained by Darren Weir, Lucky Hussler was a dual Group One winner in 2015 of the William Reid Stakes and Toorak Handicap. His Sandown Guineas-winning stablemate Mahuta will run in the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas.
First-up, Murt The Flirt won a Magic Millions race for three and four-year-olds at Ballarat in November and was third behind Flippant and Egyptian Symbol in the Wyong Magic Millions Stakes (1200m) last month.
Murt The Flirt has been in Sydney since the Wyong race and will head to the Gold Coast this week.
“The only thing that beat us second-up was the outside barrier,” he said.
“The two that finished in front of us that day came from behind us and had 54 kilos where we had 59.
“We were vying for the lead with a really hot pace. He kicked into the straight and did everything right. It was just we didn’t have the luck in running.”
Murt The Flirt finished fifth in the 2015 Magic Millions Guineas and McCarthy is hoping for a better barrier this time around in whichever race he contests on Saturday.
“In the Magic Millions Guineas last year we drew the outside and he’s drawn the outside first-up and second-up this time, so we’re looking forward to hopefully drawing a nice gate,” he said.