Trainer Mick Miladinovic. Photo: Adam Hollingworth
LUCK in running will be paramount for Micalong if he is to take out Sunday's $35,000 Bega Cup (1600 metres) at the Sapphire Coast.
The six-year-old's Canberra trainer, Mick Miladinovic, admitted the inside draw for the feature race at the coastal meeting was not ideal.
With the fear of getting blocked for clear running on the straight, Miladinovic said a change of race tactics may be needed to give his galloper a chance of victory.
"We were hoping to ride him a bit quieter, but I guess we'll have to ride him a bit more forward, which is not ideal," he said.
Micalong will face stiff competition in Sunday's Bega Cup, with a field including veteran miler Sebony and the in-form Fair Nation - which will likely start as favourite.
Fair Nation will be searching for a fifth successive victory, with his past two wins coming in the Narooma and Moruya cups.
While a Bega Cup looks a likely inclusion to the Paul Murray-trained galloper's trophy cabinet, Miladinovic is adamant if things go Micalong's way, he is more than capable of saluting the judge. "The horse is well and fit. I've done everything I can, and now it's up to the jockey (Richard Bensley)," Miladinovic said.
"I feel that if we get any luck in running we should do very well."
Although missing out on the placings in both efforts over the 1550-metre trip to kick off this campaign, Micalong's form has pleased his trainer.
After finishing less than three-lengths away for sixth when resuming at Canberra, the Zariz gelding followed that with a fourth place finish in mid-week company at Canterbury.
Micalong will be fitter now third-up and Miladinovic believes he will be primed for a strong showing in Sunday's race. "He came home really well in both his runs (so far this campaign) and that was basically what I wanted to see happen, so I was quite pleased with them," he said.
"So far everything is panning out the way I want it to."
Following Sunday's race, Miladinovic has plans of giving Micalong another race over the mile in three weeks' time at his home track of Thoroughbred Park.
If results up till then are up to scratch, the Canberra trainer said he has intentions of giving the six-year-old a tilt at the $200,000 listed Canberra Centenary Cup (2000m) on March 10.
"Basically that's my aim for him. Canberra Cup," Miladinovic said.