It is being called “the Dance Hero program” and it is the template Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott hope can deliver Tulloch Lodge’s Storm Boy the Magic Millions Classic-Golden Slipper double.
Only three horses have won both juvenile features, the Bruce McLachlan-trained Phelan Ready (2009) and Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Capitalist (2016) being the others.
However, by replicating the path Dance Hero took 19 years ago, the Tulloch Lodge trainers are hoping Storm Boy can become the fourth.
“The most likely race for Storm Boy is the Skyline (Stakes), three weeks into the 2024 Golden Slipper, a bit like his Magic Millions lead-up,” Bott said.
“It’s the Dance Hero program.
“Gai went back to the last time we did this….the dates might be a bit different but it works out well.”
Both Dance Hero and Storm Boy captured the Magic Millions at their third race start.
Dance Hero was subsequently freshened before returning to win the Skyline Stakes (1200m) and three weeks later, the Golden Slipper (1200m).
He went on to add victories in the ATC Sires’ Produce (1400m) and Champagne Stakes (1600m), becoming the only Magic Millions winner to clean sweep Sydney’s two-year-old triple crown.
Bott has indicated Storm Boy will also progress through to the longer juvenile races, provided his form and body hold up.
While Storm Boy is the stable’s budding star, Alligator Blood remains its established weight-for-age heavyweight and he will be looking to retain that crown this year.
The gelding is again set to do the bulk of his racing in Melbourne but will have a busier program compared to his three-race preparation last autumn when he won the Futurity Stakes (1400m) and finished a close fourth in the All-Star Mile (1600m) before struggling on a heavy track in the Doncaster Mile.
“It’s (C F ) Orr (Stakes), Futurity (Stakes), All-Star Mile, Australia Cup and maybe back up here for a race like the Queen Elizabeth (Stakes),” Bott said.
Alligator Blood’s first-up assignment, the C F Orr Stakes (1400m), is at Caulfield on February 10.
– RAS NewsWire