Mathrick spellbound by Magic 2YO
The market suggests some punters might think Shawn Mathrick will need some magic to win Saturday's Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes, but the trainer of outsider The Wizard King is happy to back in his untapped colt.
Mathrick admits that while neutral observers might struggle to assess the two-year-old's true ability from his performances in three public trials, they've been exactly what he wanted to see from the $30,000 yearling purchase.
In the most recent of those hit-outs at Cranbourne, the son of Flying Artie led his rivals and quickened under light riding to hold out $1 million colt Brereton.
The Wizard King will again meet a field of high-priced and blueblood rivals on Saturday but Mathrick is comfortable with his underdog tag.
"If you check through his trials, you'll see that he trialed over 1400m first, which he clearly didn't," Mathrick said.
"I just put him in with older horses so they were nice and relaxed around him and then he jumped out, went 400m and we grabbed hold of him.
"We did the same thing in a 650-metre trial.
"So we've only been using the trials as gallops and when he trialed that other day, that was basically only his fifth gallop.
"He's jumping out of the ground."
The Wizard King will wear blinkers for his debut and Mathrick said the gear change was motivated by a piece of work with the headgear on Tuesday, as well as an attempt to aid his first experience up the straight.
Jason Maskiell will partner the youngster in what will he his first ride back from a mandatory 12-day stint on the sidelines due to concussion.
While he believes he is capable of a first-up win, Mathrick said the colt's main aim was the $500,000 Inglis Banner at The Valley on Cox Plate Day.
"I put blinkers on him and worked him here at Cranbourne on Tuesday and it was an impressive gallop," he said.
"He'll probably line up about 90 per cent fit but I'm trying to set him up for the Inglis Banner at The Valley at his second start."
Mathrick, who bought The Wizard King at this year's Inglis Gold Sale, expects the juvenile to be most effective on firm tracks.
"I just thought he was a nice horse and he looked like he'd go early," he said of his purchase.
"I like the speed on speed with the Flying Artie out of the Rory's Jester mare.
"His trials have all been on wet tracks, which Jason (Maskiell) didn't really think he liked and Rory's Jesters normally improve by 10 when you get them on hard going."
Trainer Shawn Mathrick (Image: Racing Photos)