Newcastle trainer Paul Perry is under no illusions of the task ahead of his Breeders’ Plate runner-up Hidden Warrior, who is chasing a berth in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
The smart youngster took an important step on the Magic Millions path with an all-the-way win in a Broadmeadow barrier trial at Newcastle on Tuesday.
Hidden Warrior jumped in front of his five rivals and was unextended in landing the 800m trial on the No 2 grass.
At his only start to-date, the Hidden Dragon two-year-old was narrowly beaten by Gai Waterhouse’s Pierro, another potential Magic Millions contender, in the Listed Breeders Plate (1000m) at Randwick on October 1.
Perry was understandably pleased with Hidden Warrior's hitout on Tuesday and he said afterwards the gelding was likely to head towards the Magic Millions 2YO Wyong Classic (1100m) on December 22.
Last year’s Wyong winner Karuta Queen went on to capture the $2m Gold Coast feature in mid-January.
"The Wyong Classic looks a logical target,” Perry said.
"He earned $20,000 in the Breeders Plate and we’ve got to get his prizemoney up to make certain of a Magic Millions start at the Gold Coast.
"It’s not going to be an easy race to win in January. There are some very smart Magic Millions two-year-olds around this season.”
The 2012 edition will be run at the Gold Coast on January 14 and Hidden Warrior would appear a worthy representative in the rich juvenile feature.
A fool-proof youngster that jumps and runs, he looks perfectly suited to the tight turning Gold Coast track.
Of course, the Newcastle mentor is no stranger to feature two-year-old success, having won the 2005 Golden Slipper Stakes with Stratum.
Newcastle trainers have captured two Magic Millions two-year-old events since the first was run in 1987.
The late Max Lees scored with Zephyrz in 1995 and David Throsby’s filly Lovely Jubly scored in 2002. Lees also ran third with Shalt Not in 1999 to Testa Rossa.
Perry purchased Hidden Warrior at the 2011 Magic Millions Premier sale on behalf of his owners for $105,000, having trained the horse’s older half-brother Sea Spur, who won two races from only 12 starts and was placed at Listed level in Sydney.
Whilst Hidden Warrior was the horse to watch at Tuesday’s trials, fellow Newcastle trainer Darren Smith also got in the spotlight; winning seven of the 10 heats conducted.
Smith scored with Oakfield Honour, Chain Of Events, Oakfield Barron, Ella Supero, River Thames, Redscilla and Rushing To Win.