Co-trainer Robbie Griffiths will be hoping that King Magnus can give his stable a hometown feature win in Saturday’s $500,000 Cranbourne Cup.
The six-year-old gelding ran an eye-catching fifth in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes at Flemington on October 30 at his most recent start, going down by less than a length to Superstorm and Icebath, so he looks well placed in dropping back to Listed level and staying at the 1600m trip.
“When we went to the Cantala, we thought this is possibly the final run because we had put all of our energy into the Group 1,” Griffiths told Racing.com.
“He gave us an absolute peach of a run.
“He put everything out there and we thought this could be the end of the campaign which would have been no surprise, and we were unbelievably impressed with how well his recovery was, so why not have a crack at our hometown cup?
— Racing.com (@Racing) October 30, 2021
“We were hoping he’d have the energy to pull up well because we’d dearly love to win our hometown cup – or certainly have the chance of it – and he pulled up remarkably well, so we’re very pleased that we can go to the races in good order and give ourselves a chance.”
This year’s Cranbourne Cup has been shortened from the traditional 2025m trip to the mile, which Griffiths believes is “perfect” for his runner.
“It’s a $500,000 race this year and it’s been shortened; now it’s been shortened to 1600m, it’s perfect for him and he gets a chance to give ourselves the inaugural 1600m Cranbourne Cup with a bit of luck,” he said.
Based on course at Cranbourne in a training partnership with Michael de Kock, Griffiths puts his horse’s racing longevity down to the facilities that are available to them.
The son of Magnus has not really had a spell since the autumn, as this Saturday’s run will be his 10th since June and the sixth consecutive month he has raced in.
King Magnus is in flying form 👑 pic.twitter.com/1DwOZTr4cd
— Racing.com (@Racing) July 25, 2021
“I think the secret is just our complex,” the trainer said.
“We’ve got such a variety of opportunity to train our horses there – it’s an unsung hero our complex; we’ve seen it even with horses like Don’ttelltheboss who have had 20 runs for the racing campaign.
“It’s a facility that offers so much variety.
“When you’ve got that type of variety, you can give horses so much to keep them mentally stimulated, so they’re not fatigued and they don’t get tired so they get to race a lot longer than your traditional four of five runs and then need the paddock.”
King Magnus will carry 56kg in the Cranbourne Cup and is set to jump from barrier 11 under Lachlan King.
The galloper is currently at $8 with online bookmakers and sits on the third line of betting behind Our Playboy ($4.40) and Buffalo River ($7).