A remarkable return from injury has Harry Manolitsis brimming with anticipation ahead of star sprinter Get It Gizmo’s second tilt at the Million Dollar Chase at Sydney’s Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
Get It Gizmo, winner of the Group 1 Topgun and a Melbourne Cup finalist last November, and kennelmate Flynn, which is also on the comeback trail, will line up in the city qualifiers, the last chance to qualify for the Million Dollar Chase semi-finals.
A crack at the world’s richest purse was the last thing on Harry Manolitsis’ mind when Get It Gizmo sustained a broken hock as one of the leading fancies in the Ballarat Cup Final last December.
But after eight months on the sidelines, the six-time Group finalist has come back with a vengeance, winning four of his six starts since resuming, the last three in a row.
“He’s come to hand really well and is going as good as he was a year ago,” said Manolitsis.
“He won at Bendigo in good time (27.90s), then at Sale in fast time (29.22s) and then in his last win at The Meadows he came from off the speed and a shocking position (30.14s).”
WATCH: Get It Gizmo’s (box four) remarkable win at The Meadows last start.
Get It Gizmo finished third to local hero Good Odds Harada in the 2019 Million Dollar Chase Final, his only defeat in three appearances at Wentworth Park, where he boasts an airborne 29.45s personal best, and they’ll once again do battle in this weekend’s last chance saloon.
Last year’s finalists dominate TAB’s market on race 8, with Good Odds Harada (box 2) $2.30 favourite ahead of Get It Gizmo (box 6) at $2.60.
“They’ve found each other again,” Manolitsis quipped.
“At first glance, it looks one of the toughest heats and box six is never any help.
“But I’m very pleased with him and after running a good third in fast time last year we’re looking forward to going up there for another crack at it.”
Flynn, which like Get It Gizmo, is a son of Kinloch Brae, is heading to Sydney with just four starts under his belt after six months on the sidelines.
“Flynn tore a back muscle and while he’s still competitive he’s not the dog he was,” Manolitsis conceded.
“The dog turns four in November and injury and old age has caught up with him, the same way it does with footballers or any athletes.
“In his first 10 or so starts he was really the ‘lad’! He broke Fernando Bale’s record at Bendigo (23.37s), he ran down the Melbourne Cup winner Whiskey Riot in the (Ballarat) Derby and won the Speed Star in low 29s (29.08s).
“His draw is good on Saturday (box 2) but is he the same dog he was a year ago? Definitely not.
“Get It Gizmo is the reason we’re going up. I’m really happy with how he’s going and while the draw could have been more favourable you’ve got to earn it in these races.”
While Manolitsis was playing down Flynn’s chances in race 5, his opinion isn’t reflected in TAB betting, with Flynn on the third line of betting at $3.50 behind fellow Victorian Who Told Stevie at $3.10 and Ebby Jet Power at $3.30.