Conners rates Clevadude horse to beat
Mathew Toogood
15:03 AEST Mon Jan 7 2013

Clarry Conners admits he hasn't watched Clevadude's wins but is aware of his reputation as the one Assail has to beat in $2 million Magic Millions.

The Conners-trained Assail rounded out her preparations for next Saturday's Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast with a pleasing exhibition gallop at Warwick Farm on Saturday.

After watching the hitout and getting the feedback of race jockey Craig Williams, Conners declared the filly right on target.

The unbeaten Assail, runaway winner of the Wyong Magic Millions last start, shares favouritism at $3 with the Rick Hore-Lacy-trained gelding Clevadude who is also unbeaten in his two starts in Victoria.

"I haven't even seen him race yet to tell you the truth," Conners said of Clevadude.

"(But) I think he's the horse to beat. A big strong, horse. Let's just hope he doesn't handle the Sydney way of going."

Clevadude will be shooting for Hore-Lacy's first Magic Millions Classic win while Conners was successful with Mirror Mirror in 2006.

Both are successful trainers of juveniles with Conners having four Golden Slippers to his credit while Hore-Lacy has had Golden Slipper success with Canny Lad and Blue Diamond success with Redoute's Choice.

Conners felt the gallop between races in hot conditions was just what Assail needed rather than a regulation workout in the morning.

She easily accounted for stablemate The Last General clocking 33.8 seconds for the 600m.

"She had to do that to get the adrenaline going," Conners said.

"I could do that in the morning with her and nothing happens, they don't go fast and don't do enough.

"It was 16 days since she raced so I just wanted to do something with her.

"I was very happy. I think she worked nice."

She travels to the Gold Coast on Tuesday with her major work for the 1200m scamper complete.

"Wednesday, Thursday and Friday she can have a look around and she races Saturday. I don't have to do anything else with her now. That's it," Conners said.

Missy Longstocking, unbeaten in her four starts in Queensland, is the only other runner under double figures at $8.50 with Greytfilly, Certitude and Real Surreal all at $14.

Tommy Berry chases his third straight Magic Millions Classic and rides Certitude.

Berry worked The Last General in company with Assail on Saturday.

"It was good I got to see how good it (Assail) was going," he said.

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