Perth's heatwave forced trainer Jim Taylor to abandon plans to trial Petrol Power at Lark Hill yesterday and he will apply winkers to the boom colt for Saturday's $250,000 Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1100m) at Ascot.
Petrol Power, a 1000m Belmont Park winner on debut at his only start, has recorded two effortless trial wins over 400m and 1000m in the past fortnight ahead of the weekend's juvenile feature.
But Petrol Power's preparation hit a snag last week when the Snitzel colt lost his concentration in the barriers and during the running of his 1000m trial.
Taylor wanted to put blinkers on Petrol Power to help him concentrate, but under the rules of racing, he had to trial him in the headgear before he could race him with them. The rule does not apply to winkers.
"It was too hot to take the risk," Taylor said. "He worked in blinkers this morning and he was pretty sharp. He sat behind another horse in blinkers and went nicely.
"He will wear winkers on Saturday and then go into blinkers next start."
Petrol Power will need to be at his top to stave off a strong challenge from the fairer sex.
The Trevor Andrews-trained Princess Hallowell, who claimed nominal favouritism with her bold win over 1000m at Ascot last Saturday week, spearheads a formidable line-up of fillies.
Trainer Dan Morton's fillies, Camporella and Isola Blu, stamped their claims with an impressive quinella over 1100m at Ascot last Wednesday, while trainers Lou and Dion Luciani's last-start winners Flying Zoe and Play With Fire lead the Ascot stable's four-pronged assault.
Fillies will carry 54.5kg on Saturday, 2kg less than the males.
Trainer Donna Riordan's top filly O'Hara De Belle will miss the Magic Millions, but her gelding Bradford Badboy lines up after being given the all clear by vets yesterday.
Bradford Badboy received a cut above his offside-hind fetlock after being galloped on, before running second to Play With Fire over 1200m at Ascot on Saturday.
"The vets wrapped up his wound on Saturday," Riordan said.
"I wanted to wait until our vet had a look at it today before I decided whether to push ahead. The wound is clean and he has no soreness."
Steven Parnham will replace Jason Brown on Play With Fire.
Brown rides Petrol Power, but has a good idea of his chief opposition, having also won on Flying Zoe at her debut on January 30.
Jason Whiting rides Flying Zoe on Saturday.
ˇJockey Ben Kennedy has been stood down from riding until a urine sample taken from him at the races at Ascot on Saturday has been analysed.
Kennedy was one of several riders asked to provide a urine sample to stewards during the meeting, but he left the course without providing a sample.Chief steward Brad Lewis contacted Kennedy on his mobile phone and he returned to the track and gave a sample.