Quackerjack has a final opportunity to double trainer Mark Newnham’s representation at the Magic Millions carnival when he runs at Randwick.
The two-year-old needs to go back-to-back after a confidence-building victory at Kembla Grange to have any hope of joining Magic Millions 3YO Guineas contender Super Ex at the Gold Coast on January 13.
Quackerjack is outside the first 16 on the latest order of entry for the $2 million 2YO Classic (1200m) so the $53,375 winners’ cheque for Saturday’s two-year-old Plate (1100m) is vital.
“There’s a quite a few above him on the order of entry that aren’t going but he’d need the prize money and from a form perspective he’d need to win or run second to warrant going anyway,” Newnham said.
Quackerjack had a tough introduction to racing in the Listed Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick in September when he finished last after being checked at the 600.
“He copped interference and got put out of the race and then in his trials he wasn’t hitting the line as hard as I would have liked,” Newnham said.
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The trainer added blinkers and sent Quackerjack to Kembla Grange on December 16 where he comfortably ticked off his maiden over 1000m.
“He’s still not quite there mentally and he was on and off the bit but he did finish well,” Newnham said.
Super Ex has a final tune-up in the Vo Rogue Plate (1350m) at Doomben, where he has to contend with barrier 16 of 18.
He resumed in the Listed Gold Edition (1200m) at Doomben on December 16, finishing fifth after travelling wide throughout.
“Hopefully we’ve got our bad barriers out of the way,” Newnham said.
“He’s well and he’s taken improvement from his first-up run.”