Saturday Spotlight

Three to follow on the weekend

Storm Boy (Eagle Farm R6 #1)

TRAINER: Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott

RACE: BJ McLachlan Stakes (Group 3, 1200m)

A dominant two and a half length winner on debut at Rosehill, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Storm Boy (Justify) takes the next logical step in his career this Saturday, rising to Group 3 level at Eagle Farm.

His first-up performance exuded class and Tim Clark had a simple steer to get the talented two-year-old home.

This son of Justify (Scat Daddy) has a high cruising speed and has indicated he has all the tools to be a major contender for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m).

A $460,000 purchase for his trainers and Kestrel Thoroughbreds, he is the first foal out of Pelican (Fastnet Rock), a metro winner from NZ Horse of the Year and seventime Group I winner Seachange (Cape Cross).

This weekend, Storm Boy will tackle the BJ McLachlan (Gr 3, 1200m) and while he is very short in betting markets, will need to answer plenty of unknowns against some quality rivals.

Fellow undefeated colt Astapor (Tassort) and debutant Customized (Capitalist) are sure to make this a terrific contest.

Is this the race that will shape the 2024 Magic Millions? It very well could be.

Dark Halo (Moonee Valley R1 #3)

TRAINER: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

RACE: BM70 (1000m)

Lightly raced three-year-old colt Dark Halo (Zoustar) will be out to right the wrongs of his last start effort in the Gothic Stakes (Listed, 1200m) at Caulfield.

He arrived in Melbourne second up, after a fourlength demolition job at Wyong in maiden grade, but showed none of the composure he had on debut.

He was fractious in the gates, was keen all through the run and melted in the straight to finish at the rear of the field.

He was sent for a short spell and resumes tomorrow looking to bounce back to winning ways.

A troubled child over his short career, his trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace will be hoping he has further matured over his break.

Dark Halo was a $280,000 Magic Millions purchase for Vinery from the Yulong draft and marks the debut offspring of Written Era (Written Tycoon), a Group 3 placegetter who is also from the family of Group 1 winners My Brilliant Star (Copper Kingdom), Shot Of Thunder (Thunder Gulch), Lachlan River (Desert King) and Sudurka (Perugino).

Clearly all the physical talent is there for Dark Halo to succeed, it now becomes a mental test if he can become great and move through the grades.

Numerian (Ascot R6 #1)

TRAINER: Annabel Neasham

RACE: Ted Van Heemst Stakes (Group 2, 2100m)

Numerian (Holy Roman Emperor) is struggling to recapture his blistering 2022 form which saw him land the Gosford Gold Cup (Listed, 2080m), before a dominant all the way victory in the $1.2 million Q22 (Gr 2, 2200m) at Eagle Farm.

That could all change this weekend, with a scenery switch to Western Australia for the Ted Van Heemst Stakes.

His trainer Annabel Neasham is bullish that the small field could be in his favour and anything close to his best has him right in the finish.

Numerian is the best of four foals out of Delicate Charm (High Chaparral).

Bred by Whisperview Trading, Numerian has excelled on firm tracks since coming to Australia, and will get that on a 34 degree Ascot day.

In a wide open field, with four horses under $4, Numerian will hold the key to the race leading from the front.


To read more from The Great Tipoff’s Luke Hovhanesian click here.

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