In-form Magnus gelding Magnapal earned a ballot exemption into the G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) following a narrow victory in the G3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.
Unbeaten in three starts this season, Magnapal was well-placed by Luke Currie and pinched a winning break at the top of the straight. Team Williams import The United Stakes (Galileo) was doing his best work in the final furlong but was still a head shy on the line.
No horse has ever completed the Naturalism Stakes – Caulfield Cup double, however, co-trainer Terry O’Sullivan remains optimistic. “We’ve got over the first hurdle and now he’s in the race. He’s a tough horse and has really got a good will to win.”
Bookmakers have priced him at $31 for the $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17.
Magnapal (6g Magnus – Luxapal by Kenny’s Best Pal) has won 7 races and earned $345,105 for owners William Gee, John Jolley and Lewis Warner. He was purchased for $70,000 from the Yallambee Stud draft at the 2011 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.
O’Sullivan said the G3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley will be the final lead-up into the Caulfield Cup. “He will need another solid gallop before going 2400m. He’s gone up a notch and continues to improve. When he returned from a good spell, I knew he had come back better again.”
Magnapal is by Eliza Park International stallion Magnus and is a half-brother to the dam of this year’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Le Chef (Exceed And Excel). His dam Luxapal has a 2yo Equiano filly named Goldylux and a yearling filly by Hard Spun.
Magnus (Flying Spur) is standing this season for a $17,600 (inc gst) service fee at Eliza Park International.