NEWITT SAYS OAKLEIGH GIRL CAN BOUNCE BACK
Sunday, 29 December 2013:
Oakleigh Girl has lost her unbeaten record and Magic Millions favouritism but jockey Craig Newitt is convinced the filly can bounce back in the $2 million Gold Coast feature.
The Dan Bougoure-trained Oakleigh Girl was beaten for the first time in her third start in Saturday's B J McLachlan Stakes at Doomben, finishing fourth to one of the new Magic Millions favourites Unencumbered.
But Newitt has taken positives from Oakleigh Girl's defeat and remains confident the filly is capable of winning the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on January 11.
Newitt said Oakleigh Girl's run in the McLachlan was "super" after she was engaged in a speed battle with Echo Gal in front but still fought on to be beaten two lengths.
"She got pressured a lot early and they ran the first 600 metres in 34.2 (seconds)," Newitt said.
"She was entitled to drop off.
"She just needs to draw a barrier in the Magic Millions and get a softish run and she'll bounce back, no worries."
Oakleigh Girl created a big impression when she won on debut at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week with Newitt aboard.
The Melbourne-based hoop missed the ride on Oakleigh Girl in the Calaway Gal Stakes earlier this month with Michael Cahill stepping in to guide the filly to victory.
The Bjorn Baker-trained Unencumbered moved to $4 favourite for the Magic Millions with the victory and has been joined at the head of betting by Invisible who scored a debut win at Canterbury on Saturday.
Oakleigh Girl drifted after her Doomben defeat and is at $13.
Bougoure was also far from conceding with Oakleigh Girl after the defeat.
"They went very hard and I am not giving up hope just yet," he said.