“He had a little trial last Thursday and that helped keep himself up to the mark. He’s going there in really good order.
“The Villiers has been the plan the last six weeks. And after Saturday, depending on how he goes and handles the Sydney way will tell us where we go the next few months.”
The Villiers’ victor is assured a slot in the Doncaster Mile over the same famous Randwick mile in the autumn, while McGill also has a rare and tempting opportunity to head to Dubai with Gold Fields for some lead-up races to their World Cup meeting.
Such an experience for a trainer who has only been out on his own for three years would be more than tempting.
“We’ll have to make a decision one way or another,” McGill said.
“Otherwise we could even even stay home and try to get him into the All-Star Mile [at Flemington].”
Gold Fields lumped 60kg and led before he clung to a place in the Bairnsdale Cup before he sat up on the speed and won at Sale and then again at Sandown.
Nash Rawiller has been booked for the ride with McGill no stranger to the family: Nash’s son Campbell is apprenticed to the Mornington-based trainer. Nash’s camp first floated the idea of sending Gold Fields to the Villiers with the chance to sneak through the back door into the Doncaster.
McGill is no mug and prepared six winners and five placegetters from his last 23 runners in the past month.
The last Victorian horse, however, to win the Sydney summer feature was Touch Of Force for John Meagher and Darren Beadman back in 1996.
“Campbell has been going really well, he started in a flurry and was riding winners here there and everywhere, he’s going great guns,” McGill said.
“We’ll leave it to Nash on Saturday – he won’t need any tutoring.”
Gold Fields is a $9.50 chance behind firming favourite and Randwick mile specialist Quackerjack.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.