Former West Australian galloper Vega Magic is on track to record back-to-back wins in the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday, as he starts his path towards another Everest campaign in October.
The Lope De Vega gelding had his first run for the powerful David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig stable in last year’s edition of the time honoured race, where he defeated Missrock and Casino Wizard, and will once again be first-up in the event on Saturday.
Owner Wally Daly said he was nervous ahead of Saturday’s feature, but was confident his star sprinter would be the one to beat if he turned up in the form he showed in last year’s edition.
“The nerves are getting to me with all the people talking to you,” he said.
“The Hayes’ informed me the horse is going very well, they couldn’t be happier, so it’s all just luck in running now.”
Damien Oliver takes the ride on Vega Magic on Saturday after he rode the galloper in a trial at Tatura on April 17 over 850m, where he won by just under two lengths.
Vega Magic won his first two starts last spring, before finishing second in the inaugural running of the Everest (1200m) at Randwick in October.
The gelding then returned to Melbourne, where he was unplaced in the Manikato Stakes, and the Darley Classic.
Despite the unplaced performances, Daly said Vega Magic was back to his best.
“You’ll see the very best of Vega Magic on Saturday,” he said.
“The Everest flattened him I’d say.
“Going to Melbourne, here got knocked over by the horse that won the race Hey Doc, and I think he was a bit flat.
“He’s a better horse than that.”
TABtouch has Vega Magic rated as a $2.75 chance, ahead of Viddora at $8, while Voodoo Lad at $10 will be looking to give trainer Darren Weir his second Goodwood win in three years.
Daly said the market reflected who he thought were the main dangers to Vega Magic.
“I’ve liked the runs of Voodoo Lad,” he said.
“Viddora won the Winterbottom which is a good guide, and there’s other horses in there I haven’t been watching as closely.
“I think at his best, he will beat them all.”
According to Weir’s stable foreman Jarrod McLean, Voodoo Lad would be well suited in Saturday’s Goodwood.
“Voodoo Lad has been set for the race, he is an absolute bomb fresh, he’s four from six,” he told TABradio’s The Sports Daily.
“His gallop was great on Tuesday morning, and I think there is a real sense of timing about him.”
The Goodwood gets underway at 2.26 on Saturday afternoon.