James McDonald wins the Group 2 Champagne Classic at Doomben on Dubious. Picture: AAP
James McDonald wins the Group 2 Champagne Classic at Doomben on Dubious. Picture: AAP

Maher eyes Millions redemption

IF star jockey James McDonald's tongue-in-cheek advice for trainer and Magic Millions Polo rookie Ciaron Maher is anything to go by, Dubious is ready to give hot pot Alligator Blood a fright in the $2 million Guineas.

After squaring off on opposing polo teams last Sunday, McDonald and Maher will join forces at Gold Coast in Saturday's three year-old feature.

"He's (McDonald) like 'I've got to ride Dubious for you so don't go too hard'," Maher said on Monday about the pre-polo exchange.

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McDonald has ridden Maher-David Eustace-trained Dubious once under race conditions for a Group 2 win at Doomben.

The Sydney-based Kiwi hoop gave Dubious a soft pre-Christmas trial at Canterbury, allowing the $1 million earner to work through his gears to run second under a hold.

Queensland specialist Dubious, who was nabbed only in the final bounds of the 2YO Millions Classic last year, has registered two wins and a second in four Sunshine state starts.

 

The blemish a 1.55-length fifth placing in the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup last year.

Ciaron Maher speaks to James McDonald after Dubious’s win.
Ciaron Maher speaks to James McDonald after Dubious’s win.

Dubious, a $19 chance with Ladbrokes, enters the $2 million assignment six weeks between runs after closing off intently in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth despite bungling the start.

The blinkers will go back on Saturday in the hope of Dubious running out the 1400m trip.

"It was a top run last start, he was just slow away which was a bit annoying," Maher said.

"He finished off really well and the sectionals were great but the 1400m is probably at the top (of his distance)."

News Corp Australia

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