Melbourne trainer Mike Moroney has decided to target the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas at the Gold Coast with promising sprinter Star Surprise.
The three-year-old returned from a spell in a 1000m benchmark-70 race on the Pakenham Cup program eight days ago and came from last in the field of 10 to win by 1-1/4-lengths.
Moroney said the plan was for Star Surprise to fly north this week with the Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) on January 11 the target.
The trainer said the gelding would probably have a barrier trial in Queensland before the rich race.
Star Surprise has three wins from five starts with his only unplaced run when last of the six runners in the Listed Vain Stakes, won by Bivouac, at the end of his first campaign.
“Whether he gets 1400 metres, we’ll see,” Moroney said.
“I think he will and he’s bred to on the dam side.
“He’s not very big, that’s the only thing. But he’s a pretty good horse.”
Moroney was impressed with Star Surprise’s Pakenham return but said he believed how the gelding handled the trip away to Queensland would have a bearing on his Magic Millions chances.
“His sectionals were very, very good and he’s a seriously good horse I think,” Moroney said.
“He’s just a bit temperamental though and this will be his first trip away which is going to be the worry. He’s not straightforward that way.”
Moroney has shelved thoughts of running stablemate Hawker Hurricane in the Magic Millions Guineas and said he would instead be in the paddock.
Hawker Hurricane won the Magic Millions 3&4YO Classic (1100m) at Ballarat on November 23.
“I’ll save him for the autumn,” he said.
“I tried to fly him up for the Gold Edition but couldn’t get a plane.
“He had to run there to be in sync so I thought I would put him in the paddock instead.”
Saturday’s Gold Edition Plate at Eagle Farm was won by Magic Millions Guineas favourite Alligator Blood.