Greg Eurell was delighted with Mic Mac’s explosive first-up win in the Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington, but no more than Colin Little with the classy El Segundo’s effort for third at his return to racing.
Approaching the 400m mark, Mic Mac was second last of the nine runners in the Listed 1200m straight sprint with only former Cox Plate winner El Segundo trailing him.
Ridden by Damien Oliver, Mic Mac ($2.10 fav) accelerated brilliantly to quickly pick up the leading division and score by a length from All American ($12) with El Segundo ($17) a half-head away third.
FREE $100 BET if you JOIN and DEPOSIT $50!
“I was very, very pleased with what I saw and three weeks into the Memsie (Stakes) he will be absolutely spot-on for it,” Eurell said.
“I liked the way he settled today and then he started to put in the big ones.
“He’s entered for the 2009 Cox Plate (2040m) and we hope he can get to those heights.
“I’m confident he can run a mile (1600m) and based on what he does in the Dato Tan Chin Nam (Stakes over 1600m) it will give us an indication of where we are going.”
Mic Mac has been beaten only once in seven starts and that was at the end of a tough autumn campaign when he ran fifth to Metal Bender in the Group One Randwick Guineas (1600m) in March.
Eurell said the Statue Of Liberty four-year-old had come a long way since winning a Sale 3YO Maiden (1200m) at the end of last November.
But Oliver has reservations about him being a Cox Plate horse this spring.
“There’s no doubt he’s up to the good horses but in the back of my mind I think he might be too brilliant for the Cox Plate at this stage,” he said.
El Segundo, who was having only his third run since his Cox Plate triumph due to tendon and joint injuries, was running in his fourth Aurie’s Star and was placed in the event for the third time.
On this occasion he had to shoulder a hefty 63.5kg, 8kg more than Mic Mac and 10.5kg more than the runner-up All American.
Little admitted he wasn’t expecting the eight-year-old to go as well as he did.
“Not with that weight and he’s not that forward. We’ve got a bit to look forward to if we can keep him sound,” the trainer said.
Little said the Group Two Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 was the logical second-up run for El Segundo, providing the gelding pulled up well from Saturday, and that would mean a rematch with Mic Mac.
Little said El Segundo was pre-trained at Peter Morgan’s Whittlesea property.
“Peter said ‘You’d be surprised with the solid base he’d built up’ and he was right,” he said.
“He’s only been at my place (Caulfield) for five weeks. We’ve been pretty happy with him right through this time.”
Last year’s winner Grand Duels ($6.50) was up running second to the 400m but gave ground quickly when under pressure to finish seventh.
Stewards later reported the six-year-old had pulled up lame in the near foreleg.
Article by Mark Ryan Aapracing