Trainer Jason McLachlan is sure jockey Dan Griffin’s intimate knowledge of the Gold Coast track will be decisive in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on Saturday.
Griffin, nicknamed The King Of the Coast, and McLachlan have a great chance in the $2 million race with unbeaten colt Dieters.
The 34-year-old jockey’s efforts on the tourist strip’s racetrack have earned him a place in the Gold Coast Turf Club’s Hall of Fame.
He has ridden in many big races with his best result a win on top galloper Shoot Out in the 2009 Group Two BRC Sires’ Produce.
However, Griffin knows the Gold Coast track better than his own backyard and among his 400 wins on the tricky circuit are the 2011 Group Three Gold Coast Guineas on Military Rose and the 2014 Group Three Vo Rogue Plate on Mywayorthehighway.
Griffin bettered the late Ken Russell’s record when he won a sixth consecutive Gold Coast jockeys’ premiership in 2011-12.
Since then his career has been troubled by a recurring knee problem but he returned to the saddle in 2014 and he has since ridden 46 winners.
“I obviously enjoy riding at the Gold Coast and Dieters is a very good chance in the two-year-old (race),” Griffin said.
McLachlan and Griffin have formed a strong partnership in recent times and combined to win with Divine Service at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday.
“I wouldn’t swap Dan for any other jockey in the race. He knows every blade of grass at the Gold Coast and it is a tricky track to ride,” McLachlan said.
Magic Millions is always a time of reflection for McLachlan as he teamed with his late father Bruce to win the Classic in 2009 with Phelan Ready.
Bruce McLachlan, who died only three months after Phelan Ready won the Golden Slipper, also won the Classic with St Jude and Our Fiction.
“I always seem to come good around Christmas-New Year. Whether it’s dad looking over me I don’t know. But still I think about him a lot and what he taught me,” McLachlan said.
He has had plenty of success in his own right and won the 2013 Magic Millions Guineas with Saluter, who like Dieters, is owned by a Slade Bloodstock syndicate.
“Some of the Piccone family who have been great supporters of mine are also in Dieters. I would love to repay them by winning this race,” he said.
“The barriers could have been a bit kinder but with the track likely to be on the soft side it might not be the greatest of disadvantages.”
McLachlan said Dieters had continued to please him and he would disappointed if the colt didn’t run a big race.
Dieters, who has won both his starts at Doomben, is a $16 chance with Sydney colt Capitalist at $1.70.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au