December 9, 2020 4:01 pm.
The countdown to the Magic Millions carnival will begin in earnest at Eagle Farm where trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace start one of their leading juvenile contenders.
I Am Invincible filly Fake Love will make her Queensland debut in Saturday’s Calaway Gal Stakes (1000m), which the stable took out 12 months ago with Away Game.
That filly went on to claim the $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast before finishing runner-up to Farnan in the Golden Slipper.
Maher and Eustace have put blinkers on Fake Love, who is an $8 chance in early Magic Millions markets after getting an early win on the board in the Debutant Stakes at Caulfield.
The colts and geldings will get their chance to shine in the Phelan Ready Stakes (1000m), which Maher and Eustace also took out last year with Rathlin.
They have first emergency Acrobat entered on Saturday, although the superbly bred son of Fastnet Rock is also an acceptor for the Inglis Nursery at Randwick.
Queensland trainer Michael Costa will kick of the campaign of Malahide in Saturday’s Greg Harris Memorial Handicap (1200m) and he has his sights on the Magic Millions race day.
Malahide had little luck when sixth to Invincibella in the fillies and mares event at the Gold Coast last season and Costa is hoping she can turn those fortunes around.
“She’s come back really well. We’re doing everything we can to get her to the fillies and mares’ Magic Millions race again,” Costa said.
“She will more than likely improve from her first up run. We’re trying to leave a little bit in the tank.”
Costa has also paid up for unbeaten three-year-old The Ritz in The Eagle Way (1820m) but will make a final decision on whether he runs later this week.
The gelding has posted victories at Ballina and the Gold Coast and Costa is keen to test him in better company.
“He is an unassuming fellow so we don’t really know how talented he is but he continues to improve,” he said.