John Sadler is hoping it will be third time lucky when last-start winner Marli Magic lines up at Caulfield.
A jockey mix-up prompted the mare’s scratching from a 1700m race at Flemington on December 12.
She then missed a start when last week’s meeting was abandoned because of extreme heat.
On Saturday Marli Magic will contest the Ken Sturt Handicap (1400m) in which she will be ridden by 3kg claiming apprentice Jessica Payne who was aboard in her last start win at Moonee Valley on November 28.
Payne was booked to ride Marli Magic on December 12 but Sadler was unaware the apprentice had been suspended before the race came around.
Because no other 3kg claiming apprentice could be found, Sadler was allowed to scratch the mare.
“She hasn’t raced for a month but she seems in pretty good form,” Sadler said.
“I had freshened her up because we were going to run in the 1700 (metres) at Flemington and then we were back to the 1400 the following week, so I hadn’t done a lot with her.
“It has thrown her out a bit but if she can run up to anywhere near her best she’s in the race with a really good chance.
“I think she’ll lead and it will depend on what sort of sectionals she can get away with mid-race.”
Payne has ridden the mare at her past three outings and Sadler says she has a good understanding of the five-year-old as was borne out with her all-the-way victory over 1500m at the Valley.
Marli Magic is a $9 chance in an open race with Anaphora the $3.40 favourite in early markets.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au