Millions hopefuls tune up

TWO strong gallops in Melbourne and Sydney on Saturday morning bolstered the confidence of two stables aspiring to win Saturday's $2 million Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast.

Sydney filly Assail worked at Warwick Farm, and Clevadude galloped at Caulfield, with both recording strong final lead-up performances.

Leading Melbourne jockey Craig Williams flew to Sydney to ride the Clarry Connors-prepared Assail and was pleased with how the youngster felt.

''I just wanted to get one more look at her before the Coast and iron out any problems that could have arisen. But she's in good order,'' Williams said.

In Melbourne, trainer Rick Hore-Lacy was also happy with how his unbeaten youngster Clevadude emerged from his final gallop over 1000 metres.

''He honed the final 200 metres going the Sydney way on a pretty tight track and he never left the rail,'' he said.

''Of course, I was pleased that he handled the reverse direction but here at Caulfield we're able to work the opposite way two or three times a week and he [Clevadude] has adjusted perfectly.''

Hore-Lacy said he was quietly confident of success on Saturday, but was mindful of the threat posed by Assail. He believed his two-year-old had much on his side heading into one of Australia's richest two-year-old races.

''It's a tightish track and ideally it's handy to be on the speed. While Clevadude might be able to lead, it won't be a problem if he also follows the leader. And, of course, having such a fine temperament is another aspect on his side.

''You find in the last two weeks leading up to the Magic Millions you have horses popping up as very real chances, so it won't be an easy event to win but I couldn't be happier with my bloke.''

Clevadude will fly out of Melbourne late on Monday and will be on the Gold Coast early on Tuesday, as will another Caulfield two-year-old, Calcutta.

Trainer Robert Smerdon confirmed on Sunday that Calcutta would accept for the event.

The story Millions hopefuls tune up first appeared on WA Today.

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