MILLIONS BERTH UP FOR GRABS AT CANTERBURY
Tuesday, 24 December 2013: A chance to earn a spot in the Magic Millions Classic field will be in the offing for seven youngsters competing at Canterbury.
Damien Oliver makes the trip up north to ride Nordic Empire
Magic Millions Classic hopes will go on the line at Canterbury when several youngsters bid to earn a spot in the $2 million race.
Of the 10 runners in Saturday's TAB Ipad App Plate (1200m), seven are entered for the Gold Coast feature.
Victorian colt Nordic Empire is the most prominent in Magic Millions betting at $6.50 following a debut win at Caulfield on November 30.
Damien Oliver will travel to Sydney to stick with the youngster and has picked up five other mounts at the meeting, four of them for Chris Waller.
The remaining six Magic Millions two-year-old are likely to need a win to force their way into the final field on January 11, including Our Catch for Gai Waterhouse, Hawkes Racing's first starter Invisible and impressive barrier trial winner Jetwings.
The meeting represents a rare Saturday of racing at Canterbury which is predominantly used for midweek and Friday night programs.
The venue hasn't deterred trainers with healthy entries across the eight races and Joe Pride says Saturday racing at Canterbury has a place.
"It gives the other tracks a break and one or two of these a year, I'm happy to go there. The surface is good," he said.
Pride will saddle up two runners, kicking off with Recoinage in the Canterbury Park Handicap (1250m).
The mare was beaten just over two lengths when she resumed behind Holy Delusions earlier this month and has placed at both second-up starts.
"She was a bit keen that day and she just didn't extend right out on the (firm) ground," Pride said.
"I'm hopeful a better surface at Canterbury will suit her because I thought she could win first-up and she just didn't let down."
Sir Berus will back-up in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1550m) after his eighth to Rolston at Rosehill last weekend.
"He is just racing without luck. He hasn't got out at his last two runs," Pride said.