Magnus mare Magnifisio will head Perth’s home defence against the Eastern States in the G1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
Magnifisio (5m Magnus – Ifestio by Key Business) firmed into a second-favourite for the $750,000 feature sprint after a last-start victory in the G2 Lee-Steere Stakes (1400m).
“I haven’t let up on her in the last fortnight,” trainer Jim Taylor said. “She’s 10kg lighter since that unplaced run in the Prince Of Wales.”
Taylor also admitted he faced an uphill battle getting stablemate Barakey ready for the Winterbottom. He has been laid low by a virus and his likely withdrawal, along with that of Smoko, has seriously depleted the local guard.
Magnifisio was purchased for $80,000 from Rangeview Stud at the 2011 Perth Magic Millions and she has now earned over $730,000 for a partnership headed by Alan Macalister. The Lee-Steere was her fifth black-type victory following the G3 Roma Cup, LR Northam Stakes, LR Crawford Stakes & LR Summer Scorcher.
Her dam Ifestio was a Listed winner of the 2004 Belmont Oaks and she is a sister to Barakey who claimed the 2012 Winterbottom.
Magnus has topped $1 million in earnings this season and he’s running hot with 12 individual winners so far this month. Eliza Park International stands the Group 1 winning son of Flying Spur.