Michael Walker says he is “humbled” to have one of the most coveted rides on the Gold Coast in Dubious, the current favourite for Saturday’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained colt boasts unblemished form having won his two career starts, both of which Walker has been in the saddle.
The leading jockey was appointed as Aquis Farm’s retained rider late last year and Walker is excited at the prospect of claiming his first feature race in prominent aqua blue silks.
“I’m looking forward to getting on Dubious, he reminds me a bit of myself, he’s pretty relaxed and he just takes it all in, so hopefully me and him can do it,” Walker told Racing.com.
“Fingers crossed that I can get this up (with Dubious) because I’m very fortunate to be a part of the Aquis family by being their retained rider.
“He’s just a push button horse, he does everything right.”
With the usual high temperatures and busy environment, it’s common for the young horses in the 2YO Classic to get overwhelmed by the often-oppressive raceday conditions.
Walker says that is no concern when it comes to Dubious.
“I think it is supposed to be thirty degrees up there on Saturday and you need a horse that can rise to the occasion and take it all in, he’s a horse that can do that,” Walker said.
“A lot of two-year-olds, because of the heat and the crowd, just melt (on that day), they sweat and get above themselves.
“But you just watch the ‘dude’ Dubious on Saturday, he’ll just stroll around and do his thing.
“I believe I am on the classiest two-year-old in the field and I think on Saturday he can really stamp himself as if not the best, then one of the best two-year-old’s going around.”
When it comes to race tactics, Walker says he hasn’t got a definitive plan and is happy to let the race unfold, knowing his mount will relax regardless.
“I’ve ridden in that race (the 2YO Classic) and they tend to jump and go helter-skelter early and I don’t want to be doing that, burning the candle at both ends of the race,”
“If I’m third or fourth (in the run) and I’m comfortable there then I’ll stay there but if they go too hard I might be back even further.”
At the Gold Coast, Walker has six rides in total including Smart Elissim in the $2 million Magic Million 3YO Guineas for the Lindsay Park stable, also raced by Aquis.
“He’s being going well,” Walker explained.
“People might think he was disappointing (at the Valley first-up) but I jumped him out the week beforehand and thought he’d need a run and he did.
“The other day (last start at Caulfield) was good again but I reckon David, Ben and Tom are doing the right thing by getting him ready and peaking him for this race, it’s his main goal.
“I feel very humbled and privileged to be a part of such a spectacle being at the Magic Millions and having live chances.”