Jamie Lovett and trainer Andreas Wohler will line up Magic Artist in the Mackinnon Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesAUSTRALIAN Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett is confident German trainer Andreas Wohler can provide the Midas touch again for the Hunter-based syndicators at the Melbourne Cup carnival when Magic Artist runs in the group 1 Mackinnon Stakes on Saturday at Flemington.
Wohler prepared Protectionist for Melbourne Cup glory last year when n Bloodstock owned half of the German stayer.
The syndicate, headed by Hunter pair Lovett and Luke Murrell, took full ownership of Protectionist after the Cup, but injury has since ended the six-year-old stallion’s campaign for back-to-back victories.
Four-year-old Irish entire Magic Artist will lead n Bloodstock’s charge in Melbourne in their champion’s absence, and Lovett believes he will challenge in a hot Mackinnon field.
Magic Artist is a two-time group 3 winner in Europe and was fifth in the group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis in Germany and Manhattan Handicap in America at his past two starts.
He will make his debut in and under Wohler on Saturday before transferring to Newcastle trainer Kris Lees.
“Andreas has been in the country since the weekend, and he’s very happy with the horse,” Lovett said. “He’s got a soft draw in two, but it’s obviously a strong race, and probably stronger than we ever had envisaged when we started into it.
“It happens every year, though, that the horses out of the Cox Plate back up in this race, but for us it’s a grand final and for them it’s an afterthought.
“We’ve got every box ticked, it’s just if he’s up to that level at weight for age, which is obviously a massive step.
“I think it will run well, and Andreas is very happy with him, and usually when he pulls the trigger they run up to their expectations.”
A strong performance from Magic Artist, with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle on Saturday, could lead to a group 1 campaign in Hong Kong.
If not, the horse will be spelled with a view to the Sydney autumn carnival.
“It’s strong race, but we’ll get a good read on him because if he can run top five in that and we’re happy with them, we’ll go on to Hong Kong after that,” he said. “He won’t get a harder race over 2000 metres anywhere in the world than the one on Saturday, so if he can race well, he’s a good horse, because there’s nowhere to hide there.”
Magic Artist will be n Bloodstock’s only runner on Derby Day and they will have two-year-old filly Pop in a maiden on Melbourne Cup day on Tuesday.
“You’re in a bit of the lap of the gods there,” Lovett said of Pop. “They are all having their first starts, so you don’t know what other stables are going to produce, but she’s shown above-average ability, so I think she’ll run well.”
He was confident of Brook Road’s chances in the group 3 Mumm Stakes (1100m) on Oaks Day next Thursday.
Oriental Lady will contest the group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) on Emirates Day the following Saturday, when she will likely meet Lees star Lucia Valentina. The 2014 Melbourne Cup runner and dual group 1 winner was nominated for the Mackinnon but has been saved for the Matriarch.