Phoenix Thoroughbreds had their colours carried to victory by Gronkowski in the Ladbrokes Burradon Stakes 12 months ago – and bid to repeat the trick with Magic J.
Gronkowski was saddled to success by Jeremy Noseda in Newcastle’s Listed contest last spring before going on to greater things, highlighted by his agonising defeat in the Dubai World Cup for Salem bin Ghadayer.
Ed Vaughan is the trainer responsible for Magic J, a 950,000-dollar purchase, who showed plenty of promise when making a winning debut over six furlongs at Yarmouth in September.
The Newmarket handler is looking forward to getting the Scat Daddy colt back into action on Friday.
“In the ideal world, I’d have loved to have started him at seven (furlongs) – but the ground was too soft for him at Newbury, which is why we took him out,” said Vaughan.
“I thought we’d go to Newcastle and see. He’s a horse we’re still learning about.
“He shows a lot of speed. We’ll know more after Friday – but he’s in good form, and we expect a big run.
“He’s a once-raced maiden, and we need to get him out. He needs more experience. We need to find out what his ideal trip is.”
Creationist made his debut in December when third to subsequent Craven Stakes third Set Piece, and quickly backed that up with wins at Kempton and Newcastle early in the year.
The Roger Charlton-trained colt, owned by Nick Bradley Racing 38 and Sohi, missed the Craven for this race.
Bradley said: “He goes there in good form. We could have run in the Craven.
“Roger (Charlton) ran his other one (Momkin), and he ran a good race (to finish second).
“We go there hopeful, but I see he’s drawn in the car park in stall one. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s not ideal. With it being over a mile, it’s not that disadvantageous.”
Antagonize won both his starts during the summer, and his trainer Bryan Smart cannot wait to see how the Epaulette colt performs after a nine-month absence.
“He’s well and he’s in good order. I’m looking forward to running him,” said the Hambleton handler.
“He’s won on the track. I’m just very happy him. It will be good to see where we are with him.
“I’d like to think he’d get the mile. On his dam’s side there’s a lot of speed, so we will have to wait and see.
“He’s wintered well and he looks really well.
“He hasn’t run for a long time, so you’d like to think he’ll improve for the run.”
Richard Hannon is optimistic that Fox Power can progress from an encouraging two-year-old campaign, and get his season off to a good start.
“He is a promising horse and was narrowly beaten in two contests towards the back-end of last year,” said the Marlborough trainer.
“He is a horse I like, and this looks a good place to start.
“I hope things can come right this term, and we are looking forward to running.”
Daarik bids to make it three from three on the all-weather for John Gosden following wins at Newcastle and Kempton.
Gosden said: “I think the straight mile of Newcastle will suit him well. It does look a decent race and so it should be as it is a valuable Listed race.
“He hit a flat spot at Kempton over seven furlongs and then he ran on again, so that is why I think the straight mile will really suit him.”