Begg building team for Sydney racing carnival

He has a handy record when he travels a horse to Sydney and Victorian-based horseman Grahame Begg has outlined plans for another raid on the upcoming autumn carnival sprints.

Begg dipped his toe in the water at Randwick on Saturday when he saddled up Group 1 placegetter C’Est Magique, who finished a game third in the Triscay Stakes (1200m) at her first start in the reverse direction.

Two stablemates already proven in the harbour city are slated to join her in the coming weeks with Begg confirming both Passive Aggressive and Magic Time will be set Sydney targets.

Already a dual Group winner in Sydney, Magic Time captured her first major when taking out the Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) during last year’s Flemington carnival and Begg said she would kick off her campaign in Melbourne before heading north for the T J Smith Stakes (1200m).

“She is entered for that and possibly the All Aged Stakes,” Begg said.

“She will have an exhibition gallop next Wednesday at Sandown and then she will have a jump out up the straight at Flemington eight days before the Newmarket (Handicap), and then she runs in the Newmarket first-up.”

Passive Aggressive has been given a second chance at her racing career, brought out of retirement after an unsuccessful venture to the broodmare barn.

The mare has been off the scene since May, but Begg is optimistic he has her on track for a defence of her Challenge Stakes crown.

Passive Aggressive was a determined winner of the short-course sprint last autumn, claiming the scalps of runner-up Eduardo and third placegetter Giga Kick.

“She’s coming up for the Challenge Stakes,” Begg said.

“‘She’s really good. She trialled really well last week, she was in Imperatriz’s jump out.

“She went to stud and didn’t get in foal, but now she’s back into it.”

Passive Aggressive is scheduled to have another jump-out at Cranbourne on Monday, ahead of the Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 9.

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