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In The Vanguard aiming for Magic Millions

While the widest barrier might keep In The Vanguard away from Rosehill, trainer John Sargent says the filly remains on target for the Magic Millions Guineas.

In The Vanguard has drawn barrier 16 of 16 for the Fugen Handicap (1200m) on Saturday.

“I’m just going to find out from the manager whether she’s going to run from the draw,” Sargent told AAP.

“I’m very happy with her but we’ll just see about Saturday.”

A strong crop of three-year-olds getting on top of older rivals in spring features has emboldened Sargent to keep In The Vanguard in open-age races.

She finished seventh, 2-1/2 lengths from the winner at Rosehill on October 29 and Saturday’s race again pits her against older horses.

“I think the three-year-olds have shown they’re as good or better than the older horses,” Sargent said.

“And she’s not a big filly so it works out quite well.”

Sargent is planning to give In The Vanguard one more run between Saturday and the $2 million Magic Millions Guineas on the Gold Coast in January.

“She’ll stay in work,” Sargent said.

“She’ll just chip away and we’ll aim her for the Magic Millions.”

Sargent said the light lead-up to her Queensland trip was ideal.

After a Group Two placing, In The Vanguard was ruled out of this year’s Golden Slipper after it was discovered she needed surgery to remove a bone chip.

The subsequent spell meant her involvement in the Melbourne spring carnival was limited to a midfield finish in the Group Three Thoroughbred Club Stakes when first-up at Caulfield on October 8.

While the speedy filly is contrary to Sargent’s usual talent for producing distance horses, the stable’s most exciting staying prospect Esteban is likely to trial at Randwick in two weeks.

Esteban was in devastating form during winter, stringing four wins together with a combined margin of more than 25 lengths.

“He’s ready to go,” Sargent said.

“We’re probably looking at aiming him at the Mornington Cup to qualify for the Caulfield Cup.”

Beyond that, the Melbourne Cup remains a dream.

“We’ll run him back through his grades,” Sargent said.

“It will be an easy autumn and then aim for Melbourne in the spring.”

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