Eckstein’s Magic Millions hopes have been boosted after she won her first attempt at Saturday metropolitan grade.
Trainer Kurt Goldman said Saturday’s West Tradies CFMEU Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill was an afterthought for Eckstein.
“The plan was never to run her here. She was meant to go to Canterbury in two weeks time and then go to Queensland – but I threw one in,” Goldman said.
The Goulburn trainer said the filly’s ultimate goal is the Magic Millions race day in January.
He said Eckstein would have a week off before heading to Queensland for the lead-up races in December.
“You can still see she gets quite worked up,” Goldman said.
“She is not the best traveller so we are going to get her up there nice and early to settle her in and hopefully she can get the job done up there.”
Tony Gollan-trained Il Riccio finished last despite being cleared to run after bumping his head in the tie-up stalls before the race.
Punters took a shine to his 10-length romp on debut at Ipswich in October, sending him out the $2.40 favourite, but jockey Jim Byrne said the horse probably should not have started.
“He took a bit of a head knock and that subsequently has had a major bearing on where he ran today,” Byrne said.
Eckstein ($10) held out Gerald Ryan-trained colt Star of Monsoon ($9.50) by a neck as he recorded his seventh placing from eight starts, while Pound Sterling ($12) finished third.