Rivals racing for second against Alligator
Anthony Freedman delivered the dagger to connections of Alligator Blood in October's Caulfield Guineas but the master big race trainer concedes he may not have the firepower to repeat the feat on Saturday.
Most trainers, including Freedman and Sydney's Paul Snowden, feel Alligator Blood has to have bad luck if their runners are to win the $2 Million Magic Millions Guineas.
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Freedman has enjoyed an extraordinary strike rate in big races over the past few years, winning 11 Group 1s from just 40 runners since 2017.
One of them was Super Seth, who nailed Alligator Blood right on the line to win at Caulfield.
He saddles last start Flemington winner King Of Hastings to take on Alligator Blood on Saturday.
"I doubt he can beat him, but I'm hoping," Freedman said from the MM sale grounds.
"He's travelled up well, he's done well, he's drawn well, he will get a good run and he's very honest.
"He only cost $30,000 so it would be nice for him to get a nice cheque for the owners."
Paul Snowden and his father Peter have Gosford Guineas winner Hightail and Leviathan lining up and like Freedman, think something needs to go wrong with the favourite for them to win.
"I'm not going to lie, (Alligator Blood) looks pretty classy," Snowden said.
"He's going to have to run into a bit of trouble for anyone to be running him down. All being well and everything has its chance, I'm probably going to come up a length short."
Snowden took a line through Diamond Thunder, who beat Hightail at Wyong, in determining where Hightail sits against the David Vandyke trained hotpot.
"(Diamond Thunder) ran okay against Alligator, but that's why I'm thinking he's sort of got a length and a half on us at the moment on ability," he said.
"But things happen and if they work in our favour and against him, I think we can be in the money.
"It's taken (Hightail) a while to get back into form and I put it down to the long preparation he had as a two-year-old trying to get him up here (for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic). He lost his way a bit, but he's certainly running into some nice form now.
"With Leviathan, we deliberately skipped the Gosford Guineas to give him that 1400m run which he desperately needed and he got the job done. He's very much a confidence horse, so I dare say he's going to take a lot out of that and I think he's still got a bit more to give.
"He has to overcome a bit of an ordinary draw, but he's certainly a quality horse."
THIRD TIME LUCKY FOR BARBIE?
It took trainer Tony Gollan only a fraction of a second after acceptances on Wednesday to determine which race Outback Barbie would be given the chance to shed her Magic Millions bridesmaid tag in tomorrow.
Gollan dual accepted with the mare, but when barrier 15 came out for the F&M, he knew the $1m QTIS (seven) would be her race at the Gold Coast.
This will be Outback Barbie's third tilt on Millions day, having run third in the 2018 2YO Classic behind Sunlight and then filling the same position - but much closer to the winner - behind Boomsara and Bondi in last year's Guineas.
Outback Barbie flopped when second last behind stablemate Vega One in The Gateway last month, but Gollan said the run can be totally forgiven.
"She scoped really bad with mucus and had a poor post-race recovery, plus I'm not sure Eagle Farm is the track for her either,'' he said.
"I'm glad we're not there this weekend.
"She's since had a trial (where she finished alongside Vega One in a sharp workout).
"That showed there's no issue and I love her a month between runs. I think we will secure a beautiful run in the race we're in."
Gollan has had bigger numbers on MM day in the past, but tomorrow seems clearly his strongest hand, as he has leading chances in three of the $1 million races on the program.
He thinks Vega One can again confirm himself a genuine Stradbroke contender in the MM Cup and he's confident A Man To Match can make a real race of it against The Candy Man in the Trophy.
I'm A Rippa and Tokoriki Lad run against Outback Barbie in the QTIS race, while Gollan is hopeful Howwonderfullifeis might be able to pick up some Women In Racing bonus money in the Guineas.
"I hope I can find the second or third pair with Vega One,'' he said.
"I need that cover and I think he gets across OK because he's been jumping so well.
"A Man To Match looks better this week than he did before The Wave (on Saturday). He looks like he wants 2400m on last week's run.
"I don't think he's at his best at Eagle Farm either.
"He was there to make his run with The Candy Man (two starts ago) and just late he started to feel the track.
"Gold Coast is a horses-for- courses track and he's won here, so I'm pretty happy."