MORE Than Ready’s quest for a third Gold Coast Magic Millions Classic steps up a gear when Gimcrack Stakes winner Defiant Dame lines-up in the prelude at Wyong on Sunday.
Defiant Dame hasn’t raced since winning the time honoured AJC Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) by 3.5-lens in a time of 57.41 seconds.
She is destined to start a short-priced favourite in this weekend’s $200,000 Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic (1000m) ahead of her planned trip to the Gold Coast for the $2 million Magic Millions juvenile grand final to emulate previous winners Augusta Proud and Phelan Ready, both by More Than Ready.
The David Payne-trained filly familiarised herself with the tight Wyong circuit last Friday spearing away to win an 800m barrier trial by 6.5-lens.
Defiant Dame was purchased for $270,000 at the Magic Millions by acknowledged expert Les Samba whose previous buys include Shogun Lodge, Thorn Park, Winter King and Guillotine.
The Tulloch Lodge visitor has comeback in spectacular order ahead of his return to Wyong to contest the $100,000 Magic Millions 3YO Stakes on Sunday.
”Brightexpectations is only coming off the one trial but it was impressive and his work subsequently has been good,” Waterhouse Racing Manager Mark Webbey explained.
The grey has always shown a combination of sustained speed and explosive acceleration, a mix which should serve him well again at Wyong and also once he gets to the Gold Coast in January.
”He is a jump and run sort of horse – off his trials around tight tracks he just travels comfortably and then extends on straightening, so we expect similar here.”
Brightexpectations hasn’t raced since finishing sixth in the Group Three AJC Up and Coming Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm in August.
His only other outing post the Golden Slipper was when he finished near the tail of the small field in the Group Three AJC San Domenico Stakes (1000m).
As a result of those two lacklustre efforts, the colt’s Golden Rose mission was subsequently aborted and he was sent to the paddock.
”We just thought he didn’t come up,” says Webbey.”His performances spoke for themselves and probably the wet tracks didn’t suit him just to the extent that he didn’t feel comfortable on them. He had trouble getting footing in a couple of those races and just wouldn’t stretch it.
”We essentially put it down to that plus (only) a short spell he had a hard first campaign and autumn, (so) he didn’t have long in the paddock before bringing him back for the Golden Rose.
”It’s difficult to do because the Golden Rose is so early in the season.
Webbey confirmed Brightexpectations is scheduled to head to the Gold Coast next month to contest the $1 million Magic Millions 3YO Trophy over 1400m.
With Defiant Dame certain to press on to the 2YO version, the day is shaping up as one to savour for More Than Ready fans.
That’s good news for vendors at the corresponding sale given the presence of 43 More Than Ready yearlings – the most by any stallion.
Webbey’s boss has declared More Than Ready to be ‘the best sire since Star Kingdom’ ensuring that a few more of the breed find their way to Bowral Street in the New Year.
”They are wonderful horses,” Webbey said,”even when I was at Patinack there were performing wonderfully well.
”The breed speaks for itself.”