Book your ticket for Gold Coast, Girls
GIRLS Are Ready just might give the Cleary clan another Magic Millions victory after her dominant effort at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
The underrated Queanbeyan-trained two-year-old filly showed good early speed, settling outside the leader before forging clear for a comfortable win in the Member Get Member Handicap (1200m).
Trainer Joe Cleary was hoping Girls Are Ready could finish in the top four to boost her chances of getting into the field for the $2 million Magic Millions on the Gold Coast on January 12 - but the $58,000 first prizemoney she earned on Saturday has secured her a start in the glamour two-year-old race.
Cleary, who wasn't trackside on Saturday, is hoping to emulate his father, Frank, who prepared the brilliant Clan O'Sullivan to win the Magic Millions in 1992.
And it was the maestro, Frank, who was there to meet jockey Jess Taylor, who was wearing his familiar racing colours of lime green and purple hoops, white sleeves and cap as she brought Girls Are Ready back to the winner's stall.
"My wife, Sue, and Joe's wife, Sharlene, are among the owners of this filly and that is the reason she races in my old colours,'' Frank Cleary said.
"A lot of my good horses raced in those colours including Wayne's Bid, Select Prince and Friend's Venture.''
Girls Are Ready ($6) scored her second successive city win from just three starts when she scored by two lengths from Sebrakate ($9), with early leader Aeecee Vinco ($2.60 favourite) nearly a length away third.
Deterge eased from $2.25 out to $3 and, after enjoying the run of the race, struggled from the turn to finish at the rear of the seven-horse field.
Cleary admitted he didn't expect Girls Are Ready would show such speed early in Saturday's race.
"Our plan was to sit back and get some cover,'' Cleary admitted.
"But when she began so well, Jess did the right thing and put her in the race. When you have a good start like that you can't waste it, especially with two-year-olds, you have to be there somewhere.
"This filly has surprised us a bit but Joe has always had an opinion of her. He said early on that she goes good.
"Joe has done a wonderful job with her, he has got her flying.''
Taylor has won on Girls Are Ready at Canterbury and Warwick Farm and believes the filly is still improving.
"She was quite dominant today. She keeps learning a bit more every time she races,'' Taylor said.
"At her first two starts she was off the bit the whole way but today she bounced out of the gates and travelled super.
"If she can get a wet track on Magic Million day it can only help her.''
Cleary said his son plans to give Girls Are Ready a few days in the paddock to get over the Warwick Farm race and have her primed for the Magic Millions.
TAB Fixed Odds price assessors trimmed Girls Are Ready from $51 into $26 for the Magic Millions.
Unite And Conquer, the unbeaten colt trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, retains Magic Millions favouritism at $4.50 ahead of Breeders Plate winner Dubious ($5), who also kept his perfect race record intact in winning the opening race at Eagle Farm yesterday.