Bigger track to help The Candy Man

By: Mark Oberhardt Thursday 12 December 201

A return to a bigger track and a step up in distance is expected to help The Candy Man back up seven days after running third at Doomben.

The Candy Man had problems getting a clear run in the straight when third in the Listed Brisbane Handicap last Saturday.

Trainer Barry Baldwin had always intended to back The Candy Man up in the Hamilton Hotel Handicap (1800m) at Eagle Farm.

It is a part of Baldwin's overall plan to get The Candy Man into the field for the Magic Millions Trophy (2400m) at the Gold Coast on January 11.

"The Candy Man wasn't paid up for the Magic Millions series and needs a wild card to get in," Baldwin said.

"He will need to win the Shoot Out Quality at Eagle Farm on December 28 to get a Millions start.

"But it would have meant it was three weeks between runs and going from 1600 to 2200 metres if we don't run on Saturday."

Baldwin has no doubts The Candy Man can run a strong 2400m at the Gold Coast.

"He has won over 2200 and his jockey Matt McGillivray said he was looking for further after the Brisbane Handicap run," he said.

Baldwin said although The Candy Man suffered his first defeat in four starts at Doomben he was definitely better suited at Eagle Farm.

"We haven't done much with him this week but he has been holding up well in a long preparation that suits him," Baldwin said.

Brad Stewart will take over from McGillivray on Saturday after the latter elected to stick with Winning Ways.

Stewart stood down from his last ride at Dalby on Wednesday after becoming ill in the searing heat.

He will need a medical clearance to ride on Saturday but is expected to be OK.