A strong barrier trial win and the likelihood of a drying track has convinced trainer Michael Costa to take on open company with Magnajoy at Doomben.
Costa entered Maganajoy for the Open Handicap (1350m) and the Benchmark 75 (1350m) but decided to go with the harder race.
She was well beaten at Doomben at her next start but Costa said there had been excuses.
Magnajoy has since beaten NSW Country Championship second favourite Snitz by four lengths in a Gold Coast barrier trial.
“She has trialled well and there is no doubt she is much better on top of the ground. The prediction is for drying weather and that encourages us,” Costa said.
The trainer the chance of a Doomben double with promising young stayer Epic Rant and admits he has rarely had to make a decision which was so finely balanced as the gelding’s venue on Saturday.
Costa accepted with Epic Rant at Rosehill in the Group Two Tulloch Stakes (2000m) and at Doomben in a Three-Year-Old Handicap (2030m) but elected to stay in Brisbane.
Epic Rant has emerged as a rising staying talent with a win at Doomben before before a second at Ipswich on a wet track.
He then turned in an outstanding performance to come from near last to win a $100,000 Three-Year-Old Handicap (1800m) at the Gold Coast.
“He was spinning his wheels a bit at Ipswich in the mud but it might also have been fitness,” Costa said.
“He showed what he can do at the Gold Coast but finally we decided to stay home. ”
Epic Rant isn’t in the Group One Australian Derby but Costa hasn’t ruled out paying a late nomination fee.
Either way Epic Rant will chase the Queensland Derby in June.