Queensland star ready for Newmarket
- Better Than Ready
In trainer Kelly Schweida's pecking order, Better Than Ready has a couple of horses ahead of him.by AAP
By Mike Hedge
MELBOURNE, March 5 AAP - In trainer Kelly Schweida's pecking order, Better Than Ready has a couple of horses ahead of him.
But Schweida believes that situation could change as early as Saturday.
"He's potentially the best horse I've trained, but he's got to get there yet," Schweida said.
Victory in the Group One Newmarket Handicap at Flemington on Saturday would more than likely push Better Than Ready to the top of a list currently headed by Schweida's Group One-winning mare Nova Star.
Schweida's confidence in Better Than Ready comes mainly from a win at Randwick last spring and his last-start victory in the Falvelon Handicap at Eagle Farm two weeks ago.
"He put them away quite well the other day," he said.
"And when he won in Sydney he ran very good time."
But perhaps the greatest positive supporting Better Than Ready's Newmarket chances is his 50.5kg handicap.
"The thing that persuaded us to come down was the 50.5 kilos," he said.
"He's ended up having a good preparation for a race like this. He's had two runs back, his third or fourth run should be his peak."
Better Than Ready is also the best-supported runner in Newmarket betting, having firmed from 50-1 before his last-start win to $6.50 this week.
The Queenslander had his first look at the straight Newmarket course on Tuesday, winning an 800m jump out from Shamexpress and Shamal Wind in 46.48sec with the final 400m in 21.29.
The work compared well with other Newmarket contenders including Barakey who galloped on the straight course with Woorim.
His trainer Jim Taylor sounded a note of caution over the unbeaten West Australian who missed his intended first-up run when scratched at the barrier in the Oakleigh Plate.
"It's hard to make up a missed run on the training track," Taylor said.
"He's done a bit since, but it's not the same."
Barakey is second favourite for the Newmarket at $4.80 with Moment of Change a firm $2.85 favourite.