The father and daughter training team of Terry and Karina O’Sullivan are planning a dual attack on the 2016 Ballarat Cup.
Magnapal and Golden Oldies are nominated to run in the $300,000 Listed race over 2200m on Saturday.
Terry O’Sullivan says Magnapal is looking for a distance rise while Golden Oldies is chasing a third Cup victory from as many starts.
Magnapal struck form during the spring of 2015 when he gained a start in the Caulfield Cup via a qualifying race.
The O’Sullivans had hoped to follow a similar program this year and Magnapal looked to be on target, finishing fourth in the Heatherlie Stakes before running fifth to Jameka in the Naturalism Stakes.
As he did 12 months earlier, Magnapal then ran in the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley.
“He pulled up a bit crook after the JRA Cup so we couldn’t go on,” Terry O’Sullivan said.
Although he only beat two to the line in Saturday’s Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, O’Sullivan was pleased with the gelding’s performance, his second run since the JRA Cup.
“I would have preferred to see Luke (Currie) get to the outside rather than get bottled up in amongst them, but I thought his run wasn’t too bad,” O’Sullivan said.
“He wasn’t beaten that far and I think he’s looking for a little more ground so I’m pretty keen to have a go at the race.”
Golden Oldies was a city winner as a late three-year-old and has struck form winning the St Arnaud and Ararat Cups at his past two starts.
While acknowledging Golden Oldies faces a rise in grade, O’Sullivan says the five-year-old deserves his chance.
“He’s racing really well and he was pretty promising as a three-year-old until he did a tendon,” O’Sullivan said.
“It’s been a long haul back and it took him a few runs to hit his straps.
“I think he’s racing particularly well and I suppose the question is, is he up to the class?
“I think he deserves a crack at it and we’ll find out on Saturday if he’s up to it.”
Currie will ride Magnapal on Saturday while Linda Meech will take over from apprentice Jessica Eaton who has ridden Golden Oldies to his past two victories.