Miller in box seay for another double
Miller in box seay for another double

Trainer Simon Miller hopes to bounce back from the disappointment of Darlington Abbey's flop at Caulfield with a second straight Magic Millions feature race double at Ascot on Saturday.

Darlington Abbey was heavily backed to win last Saturday's Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) but faded in the straight to finish last of nine behind Octavia.

Miller said Darlington Abbey pulled up with "two separate issues" and will return home if she does not recover by next week.

Miller became the first trainer to win the MM Perth double last year when Darlington Abbey won the $250,000 2YO Classic (1100m) and Night War won the $100,000 3YO Trophy (1400m).

He has two-year-old Surrounded and boom three-year-old Portonian set for the two races on Saturday.

Surrounded had no luck on debut last October when she slipped at the start and injured a hamstring when eighth to Petrol Power.

She had to be ridden out hands and heels by Peter Knuckey after his whip broke at the 200m when she resumed at Ascot last month with a second to Walkover as the $1.80 favourite.

Miller was buoyed by Surrounded's draw in barrier six and the awkward gates for leading contenders Camporella (18), Princess Hallowell (17) and Petrol Power (14).

"She comes into play with the main dangers drawing wide," Miller said.

"She's no Karrakatta Plate horse but she gets her chance in a restricted Magic Millions race.

"She's drawn well and hopefully she jumps clean like she has in her trials."

Shaun McGruddy rides Surrounded, with Knuckey booked for Princess Hallowell.

Portonian has recovered from his last-start flop after acupuncture and chiropractic treatment.

He started a raging $1.24 favourite a fortnight ago, but blundered at the start and after going forward at the 800m, faded to finish third behind Dueton and pulled up lame.

He showed his class with brilliant wins at his first two starts by a combined five lengths.

"I'm happy with him going in and he'll be hard to beat," Miller said.

·Unbeaten sprinter Barakey and WA horse of the year Luckygray will have separate exhibition gallops at Ascot on Saturday.

Barakey is headed for Saturday week's Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield, while Luckygray will run first-up in next month's Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.

The West Australian

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