Geared Up for Magic Millions
Stakes placegetter Geared Up will take a modest first step towards a Magic Millions carnival tilt when he resumes in a midweek race at Warwick Farm.
Trainer Joe Pride has opted to kick off the gelding’s campaign in the Cherrybrook Welter Hcp (1000m) on Tuesday as part of his long-range goal to have Geared Up at his peak for the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 9.
"It’s a nice option for him tomorrow," Pride said.
"He’s being set for the Magic Millions 1400 metre race and I want to give him three runs before then. This is the first one."
Geared Up is twice stakes placed having finished runner-up to Northern Meteor in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes in October 2008 and third to Fravashi in the Group Three South Pacific Classic during the autumn.
He was second to Fantene in a recent barrier trial and has yet to miss a place in three first-up runs.
While Tuesday’s 1000 metre journey is short of Geared Up’s best, Pride believes the four-year-old is capable of surprising.
"If they go really silly in front he’s a chance of going home over the top of them," Pride said.
"He’s come back well. He is a handy little horse."
Pride will also start new recruit Welkom Gold in the same race.
Formerly trained by Darren Smith, the smart sprinter beat all but Kroner in the Listed June Stakes at Randwick and will have his first run for Pride on Tuesday.
The Warwick Farm trainer admits he is still learning about the five-year-old but likes what he has seen so far.
"His record suggests he is a very smart sprinter and he’s got the perfect profile to come into my stable – he is a tried horse, he’s matured, he’s a sprinter and he’s got ability.
"I’ve had a bit of luck with those types of horses.
"It does look like his best runs have been on rain-affected ground and that’s my only query."
The lightly-raced Skybound will fly the flag for Pride in the Ashcroft Hcp (2200m) and the trainer is keen on her chances on her home track.
By Mandy Cottell