IT'S ALL systems go for star fillies - Barcaldine's Playtime and the Rockhampton trained Divine City - as they press on for the $1 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.
Their next likely showdown will be the $150,000 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m) at Doomben on December 31 after having pleased their respective trainers following the outcome of last Saturday's $100,000 Mode Plate (1200m) at Doomben.
Playtime rocketed home from 13th at the 400 metres point to finish fourth, just 2.6 lengths from the winner Charm's Honour.
Divine City finished a further 1.3 lengths away in fifth placing after being blocked for clear passage in the straight.
Trainer Todd Austin, campaigning with Playtime and a group of horses from a temporary Toowoomba base, was delighted with her effort last Saturday which was in stark contrast to a puzzling Brisbane flop a fortnight earlier.
"I'm very much a happier man. I still haven't been able to get to the bottom of what went wrong at her previous start. I just put it down to Playtime being a female," Austin said.
He said Playtime came through the Mode run in "brilliant style" and he was far more confident about moving forward with the Magic Millions Guineas as the main goal.
It was similar sentiments from Garnett Taylor who confirmed that Divine City had "no luck at all" in the Mode.
"I'm sure had she drawn a better alley (than 12) things would have been different.
"Of course the 1200 metres was a bit short for her as well," Taylor said from Divine City's campaign headquarters at Caloundra.
Taylor is not in the same fortunate position as Austin in regards to definitely making the field for the Vo Rogue as, unlike Playtime, the far less experienced Divine City has only accrued very limited prizemoney.
The elimination order for the Vo Rogue and the Magic Millions Guineas stipulates that horse having won the least amount of prizemoney are the first eliminated.
"We might struggle a bit to make it into the field with Divine City as the Vo Rogue is a race for both fillies as well as colts and geldings, so I imagine the entries will be pretty big," Taylor said.
Meanwhile, the John Manzelmann trained and Longreach part-owned Rocket To Glory will press his claims for a Magic Millions Guineas tilt by starting in the $100,000 Gold Edition Plate (1200m) at Eagle Farm next Saturday.
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