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IBLE SEEKING GOOD FORTUNE WITH MAIDEN BRISBANE RUNNER


THE Magic Millions dream is alive for Joe Ible as he looks forward to saddling his first Eagle Farm runner on Saturday.

The Kembla Grange trainer will start debutante Souad (Robbie Dolan) in the Listed Calaway Gal (1000m) for two-year-old fillies, hoping to snare the $116,000 first prize to take her a long way toward securing a start in the 2YO Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 13.

Prizemoney for the MM Classic has been boosted to $3m on a mammoth 11-race program.

A daughter of Merchant Navy (seven wins from 10 starts, including Group 1 victories in both Australia and the United Kingdom), Souad was a $42,500 buy for Ible Racing at this year’s MM yearling sale Book 2 in January.

“One of our owners named the filly. Apparently it is an Arabic name which means good luck or good fortune,” Ible said.

“Souad obviously has a bit to do yet to gain a start in the Magic Millions Classic, but the dream is alive.

“I haven’t really had two-year-olds, and didn’t push this filly at all.

“She has done it on natural ability with no pressure.”

Souad, ridden by Jean Van Overmeire, comfortably beat two other unraced local rivals in an 820m trial at Kembla Grange on November 27.

“My brother Jack, who works for me and is a part-owner, will go with the filly when she is floated to Queensland tonight,” Ible said.

“I will fly to Brisbane on Saturday morning to saddle her for the race.”

Ible, who prepared a benchmark 20 winners last season and already has five on the board this season, has previously had only one Queensland starter.

That was the now retired Sepulchre, who was unplaced in the $1m MM Trophy (2400m) at last year’s Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast.

. Meanwhile, leading Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup has Reece Jones on standby for his Festival Stakes winner Phearson in Saturday’s $2m Group 2 The Ingham (1600m) at Royal Randwick.

But that hinges on Jones’ current booking, second emergency Military Expert, not making the field.

Tom Sherry rode Phearson in his Group 3 Festival Stakes (1500m) victory at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday, but had already been booked for last year’s The Ingham runner-up Lion’s Roar (to stablemate Kirwan’s Lane) in Saturday’s feature.

“I would have liked to have been able to keep Tom on as Phearson is a quirky horse, and he has ridden him twice,” Widdup said.

“But Reece has ridden winners for me, and happy to have him aboard if it works out that way.”

Widdup has been pleased with Phearson’s progress since the Festival.

“I haven’t done a lot with him this week, but he did a bit of evens work this morning,” he said.

“Phearson is a tough horse, and I’ve got no problem about backing him up on Saturday.”



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