Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett isn’t sure where Mugatoo will end up from the inside barrier on Saturday in the $700,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m), believing the race could be devoid of pace.

The All-Star Mile winner was one of 12 final acceptors on Tuesday morning, with Hugh Bowman booked to ride the Kris Less-trained galloper.

“There doesn’t appear any speed at first glance, but we’ve got the right jockey and he can settle close,” Lovett explained.

“I can’t see anything in the race going forward, so it will be interesting what the experts make of it.

“He was bolting in the forward half in The All-Star Mile and is a bit of a building horse, so he should get his chance from the inside draw.”

Pace aside, Lovett says his galloper has come through his Sydney preparation well, having finished fourth in the Doncaster Mile and sixth in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He was also given a recent trial at Newcastle on May 5.

“The Queen Elizabeth was an awful-run race, a jog sprint and it was hard to make ground along the inside,” Lovett said.

“He wasn’t beaten far in the Doncaster with 56.5 kilograms and went good and then we backed him up in the seven days.

“He’s not taking on Addeybb in this race, so I think he’s in it up to his eyeballs.”

Mugatoo (IRE)

Trainer K.A.Lees
Age 6YO
Sex Gelding
Colour Bay
Prize Money $3,389,517
Last 5 -5146
Career 20-9-2-1
POS Jockey Track Date DIST Race WGT MRG Odds  

Connections decided against spelling the six-year-old like many of his Autumn Carnival rivals, preferring to instead keep him ticking over in reach of their spring ambitions.

“He will go back to the farm after this for a few weeks and have the saddle off his back on the treadmill and the like,” revealed Lovett.

“I would think he would have two runs in Sydney and then go to the Cox Plate.

“Horses that race in Queensland have the benefit of fitness and I’d say he would be looking to kick-off over a mile.

“If it rains he could go to the Turnbull, but we’d be keen to keep him off those firm Melbourne tracks.”

Lovett believes The Valley’s signature race, the $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) on October 23, is the logical spring target for the son of Henrythenavigator.

“I think it’s fair to say his highest two rated runs have come up The Valley in The All-Star Mile and in the Cox Plate when he should have finished closer,” Lovett said.

“I just love that surface, they pull up well and he’s shown he enjoys it, so I think you’d be crazy not to head there.”

Another galloper Lovett is hoping can put his hand up in the spring is the Will Clarken-trained Ironclad, who is undefeated in his three Australian starts.

“He’s got a long way to go but it would be lovely to think he could end up there too (the Cox Plate),” said Lovett.

“He will have two lead-up runs into the Toorak and then from there you can either lower your sights or push on if he was to run well.

“If he didn’t measure up for the Cox Plate a race like the Crystal Mile on the same day could be his target.”

Sportsbet has installed Mugatoo a $4.20 second favourite behind Zaaki in Saturday’s Doomben Cup.

Lovett also said it is unlikely Australian Bloodstock will fly out horses for the upcoming Melbourne Spring Carnival.

“We will probably be looking at a more long-term approach and bring horses out for Sydney next autumn and not be hitting the board straight away in the spring,” he said.

Ironclad (GB)

Trainer W.T.Clarken
Age 5YO
Sex Gelding
Colour Brown
Prize Money $230,085
Last 5 1111-
Career 12-6-1-1
POS Jockey Track Date DIST Race WGT MRG Odds  

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