A bigger and stronger Queensland Oaks winner Winning Ways will take her first step towards a Magic Millions Trophy start at Eagle Farm.
The mare resumes in Saturday’s Hamilton Hotel Open Handicap at Eagle Farm where she has drawn barrier six at the notoriously tricky 1800m-start.
Winning Ways was bought at the Magic Millions sales but was not paid up for the series meaning she will need a wild card to get into the Trophy (2400m) on January 11.
Queensland’s champion horse of last season, the mare was banned for three months following her Oaks win in early June because of a bleeding attack.
She showed no ill-effects from it in her spring campaign which ended with a win in the $150,000 Spring Cup on October 5.
Trainer Garry Newham then put plans in place to get Winning Ways into the Magic Millions race.
“She didn’t go for a spell but rather had a week-ten days pottering around the stables and then she was back into it,” Newham said.
“She has filled out and is bigger and stronger. The 1800 metres is ideal for a first-up run.”
Winning Ways will then head to the Shoot Out Quality (2200m) at Eagle Farm on December 28 which carries a wild card to the Magic Millions Trophy.
“The 2400 metres of the Millions race will be no worry and she will give it a shake if she gets there,” Newham said.
“If she doesn’t make it that won’t be a disaster as we can look at the Brisbane winter with her.
“There are races like the Doomben Cup and Brisbane Cup which probably suit her better than the Sydney autumn.”
Matt McGillivray will ride Winning Ways in preference to Saturday’s rival The Candy Man who he rode at his previous two starts.