So just how good is the unbeaten Mogo Magic?
A massive offer from Hong Kong says the precocious Goulburn speedster will progress far beyond Saturday’s TAB Highway at Royal Randwick.
Mogo Magic is low level flying into a $120,000 Class 2 (1000m) with 58kg for Tim Clark in a support to a tremendous day of Group racing.
The three-year-old Duporth-Zoumagic gelding has won two races and as many trials by 20-plus lengths. So it’s no surprise he is $2.40 favourite on TAB fixed odds, and even shorter in other markets.
Trained by respected three-decade horseman Scott Collings, Mogo Magic has won open trials at Goulburn by seven lengths and Kembla by four since he was scratched with a slight set-back from a Highway at headquarters a month ago when favourite.
Mogo Magic has never been led with wins by a total of ten plus lengths at Sapphire Coast and Wagga in sizzling times when $1.70 and $1.40.
The 0.56.61 for the Sapphire maiden threatened the 1000m track record. Unheard of for that modest grade. In the latest Goulburn trial two weeks ago he beat Group One winner Shelby Sixtysix by eight lengths.
Collings, who won earlier Highway episodes with his spelling stable star Ten Bells, is invariably reserved and never overrates.
“Early days he might not have beaten much but when they win by those margins and run time you’ve got a nice horse,” offered Scott, trainer, track-work rider and breaker.
“We’d set him for that previous Highway confident he was up to better grade but leading up to it he went off his feed.
“It’s unlike him. He wasn’t happy, neither was I, so I advised connections it just wasn’t worth the risk. When we scratched we knew this race was coming up and planned for it.
“It was a month between races so we trialled twice to keep him up to the mark and he went super.”
Mogo Magic, named after the historic far South Coast village, is raced by Riverina and Goulburn owners. Several who were involved in Ten Bells, a six-race winner and emergency for last season’s The Kosciuszko.
Scott has said Mogo Magic is showing more than that classy mare at the same age.
“He’s led comfortably in races and trials but the jocks told me he will be just as effective with a sit as he relaxes,” he said.
“There’s always a hot tempo and pressure in Highways. We’ll leave that to Tim if the race pans out we can lead, but either way we’ll be comfortable.”
Meanwhile Collings, with a small team, is having highly productive seasons since amicably dissolving a premiership training partnership with ACT great Keith Dryden.
Dryden, for economic and travelling reasons closed his satellite stable at Goulburn four seasons ago. Then Scott had to build a team from scratch and has done an admirable job amidst a serious track work accident that laid him up for extended time.
In recent seasons the winners have been regular enough with a 12% strike rate, largely through Ten Bells and an impressive 33% the place.
– Racing NSW