Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds saddles-up two Vo Rogue Plate runners at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday including the well-fancied Whypeeo who he believes will run out the distance no worries.
The key final lead-up to next month’s Restricted Listed $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast, this weekend’s Group 3 $200,000 Magic Millions Vo Rogue Plate (1350m) features a capacity field of hopeful three-year-olds.
Two hail from the stables of Edmonds, who prepared last summer’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic winning filly Houtzen, with Whypeeo and I Am Impinge drawn in barriers nine and one respectively.
The best fancied of the stablemates in Vo Rogue Plate betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.40 after a last start win at the track is I Am Invincible gelding Whypeeo.
Boasting a super consistent record of four wins and a third from six career starts to date, the galloper comes off a narrow victory over the early Magic Millions 3YO Guineas favourite for January 13, Pierata, in the Listed $100,000 Gold Edition Plate (1200m) a fortnight back.
That put him in line for the $500,000 Summer Crown bonus on offer to any horse that can salute to any three of the five races in the series.
It is the Gregory Hickman-trained Pierro colt Pierata ($3) tipped to turn the tables and win the Vo Rogue Plate on the weekend, but there could be value sticking with Whypeeo to salute again in his first look at further than 1200m.
There are a few doubting the horse’s ability over the distance, but not Edmonds.
“It was a good tough win in the Gold Edition and he’s made good progress since,” he told Racing Queensland.
“He was a bit new when he ran third first up at Canterbury but he’s improved a lot since then.
“I can’t see why he won’t run the trip. He was strong enough at the end last start and Jeff (Lloyd) let him run well before the corner.
“If we can dictate up on the speed somewhere he should run well.”
The stable’s other hopeful is also a son of I Am Invincible, I Am Impinge coming off a lead-up win at the Vo Rogue Plate track and distance in a Class 1 on December 20.
He easily accounted for his rivals by two lengths that day with Jeff Lloyd aboard on 58kg making him a genuine hope in tougher company on Saturday with 57kg and the inside alley, Brad Steward taking over in the saddle.
Whypeeo is already guaranteed a spot in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas field sitting eighth on the order of entry and paying $10 for the win in futures markets.
I Am Impinge meanwhile needs to win on the weekend to be in with a chance, well down the ballot in 56th spot.
“They may be by the same sire but they are totally different horses,” Edmonds said of his duo.
“I Am Impinge is more of a winter, autumn horse but we’re giving him his chance to run in the Magic Millions Guineas.
“He bounced back to form last start when we put blinkers on him.
“I think Whypeeo is our best hope. He’s a far sharper horse.”