Ad Magic Time ridden by Michael Dee wins the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse (Photo by Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Time for some Magic in Newmarket

6 March 2024 Written by Racing & Sports

Magic Time will bid to win the Yulong Newmarket Handicap first-up at Flemington on Super Saturday this weekend.

A trip to Flemington for a jump-out consisting of horses in the Newmarket Handicap provided Magic Time with the ideal lead-up to the Group 1 handicap. 

Trainer Grahame Begg took advantage of giving Magic Time a look at the straight 1200m course over which the mare will race first-up on Saturday. 

Magic Time finished fourth in the 800m jump-out last Friday and Begg said it was the perfect hit-out for Saturday's race. 

It was the second time Begg had taken Magic Time away from his Cranbourne stable in preparation for the Newmarket Handicap after the mare galloped between races at Sandown a couple of weeks before the Flemington jump-out. 

"She pulled-up great and we couldn't be happier with her. She did it beautifully and it topped her off nicely," Begg said of the Flemington hit out. 

"The trip away helps tighten them up a bit more without putting them under too much pressure. 

"It stimulates them. If you stay at home all the time, you don't get that, and certainly it gets them thinking." 

Magic Time has been to Flemington once previously. 

After a win on the Pakenham synthetic track on debut in October 2022, Magic Time took out the Listed Amanda Elliott Stakes (1400m) at her second start, during Melbourne Cup week. 

She enters Saturday's race first-up having last been seen winning the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last November and is unbeaten in three starts at 1200m. 

Redkirk Warrior won the Newmarket Handicap in 2017 first-up off a similar break having won the Sandown Stakes (1500m) at his previous outing. 

Begg said he began planning for a first-up tilt at the Newmarket Handicap not long after the mare entered the spelling paddock. 

He said he could not be happier with the mare's preparation towards Saturday's race. 

"It's never easy to run first-up in a big Group 1 handicap, but we think she's had the perfect prep," Begg said. 

"She's done what we've asked her to do." 

Michael Dee takes the ride on Saturday with Magic Time to carry 53kg, 0.5kg more than what Redkirk Warrior did in the first of his two Newmarket Handicap victories.