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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Promising two-year-old Stupendo draws awkward barrier 19 in Magic Millions Classic

Danny O’Brien is not letting Stupendo’s drawn barrier 19 concern him and that the colt’s raw ability can overcome it in Saturday’s $2 millions Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast.

“You never really know until the run the race,” O’Brien said on RSN.

“You can lose a lot of sleep over barriers and then they can turn out to be blessings on the day.

“The main thing is that the horse is in great shape, he’s pulled up well from his excellent run last Saturday and he’s ready to run well again.”

Stupendo won at Flemington on 11 December and therein provided the first winner for freshman sire Supido.

Following up with a second placing in the Aussie Nuggett (1100m) at the Gold Coast last Saturday, O’Brien is hoping that back-up can be a positive.

Since 2013, six winners of the Magic Millions Classic also competed seven days before the main feature.

“Historically it hasn’t been the worst play to run Saturday-to-Saturday,” O’Brien said.

“After he won at Flemington, then running last Saturday it looked the obvious way to get him here and he’s got the ability to cope with the seven-day back-up.

“It wasn’t a hard decision to run him week-to-week and he’s the perfect two-year-old for this.”

Stupendo will have Craig Williams in the saddle again and is rated a $31 chance across most markets.

O’Brien says just getting to these Magic Millions races has its challenges for Victorian-based horses.

“It is hard for Victorian horses doing this, O’Brien adds.

“We’re a long way away and have to come up here and race righthanded.

“It comes up very early in the season and we, in Melbourne, don’t have as much two-year-old racing as Melbourne and Sydney have over Christmas so you have to get it right to quality.

“Then it has to go right to get up here and run well.

O’Brien described the colt as “very straightforward with a great constitution”.

Aside from Stupendo on Saturday, O’Brien has his eye on forty to fifty yearlings at this week’s Magic Millions Sale depending on favourable veterinary reports.

“It’s not hard to find nice horses here,” he said.

“The hard part is getting to buy them.”

 
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