The Gong: Trainer Mark Minervini has bigger fish to fry with in-form miler

Newcastle trainer Mark Minervini won’t send his in-form miler Super to Saturday’s The Gong even though it’s a $1 million race as punters can’t come up with a clear favourite for the event.

Super made it three-straight wins at Newcastle’s The Hunter meeting last Saturday and straight after the race Minervini said he might back up his five-year-old in The Gong if he was able to get a run in the race.

And if that didn’t happen he’d go to another mile race on the same day. But he’s had a change of thought with a long-term Group 1 in mind.

“I’ve slept on it and we won’t go to Kembla,” he said.

“We’re going to run him at Rosehill on Saturday week then go to the Villiers two weeks later at Randwick. I think that will be a good race for him down in the weights.

Mark Minervini (pictured) has resisted the temptation of the chasing the $1 million The Gong with Super and will head to the Group 2 Villiers in three weeks instead.Source:News Corp Australia

“It was going to be borderline anyway then we would’ve had to find a jockey to suit the horse. There were just too many variables.”

If Super continues to climb through the grades and was able to win the Group 2 Villiers Stakes in December he was gain an automatic start in next April’s $3 million Doncaster Mile at Randwick.

“We’ve got plenty of fish to fry down the track and I’m comfortable setting him for the Villiers,” Minervini said.

“We’d like to keep the combination going with Tom Sherry. They have a good relationship.

“It was a big thrill to win a metropolitan race at Newcastle. Four runs ago he got beaten in a Benchmark 58 at Muswellbrook.

“I’ve been as surprised as anyone. His confidence has grown every time. He gets around the stables like he runs the show and he’s strutting around like a peacock.”

Dawn Passage opened at $11 but is now the $5 favourite for Saturday’s The Gong (1600m) at Kembla Grange.

Purple Sector and Rock at the $6 second elects with the often luckless Cascadian at $11 on the third line of betting.

The market will change again when the barrier draw is conducted for the capacity field of 16 on Wednesday morning.

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Originally published asIn-form Super to bypass The Gong

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