Atomic Force will make his first ever trip to Moonee Valley this Saturday when he contests the Mitty’s McEwen Stakes over 1000m.
The six year old gelding has returned this season and picked up where he left off at the end of the last with two good comeback runs including a last start win at Caulfield.
As a recognised Group 1 winner he no longer flies under the radar and there’s a real sense of expectation surrounding the horse.
Moonee Valley though is a whole new ball game and the tight turning circuit has found out many horses with good records at other venues.
Because of this trainer Darren Smith got Atomic Force on the track earlier this morning to try and give him as much time as possible to get used to the conditions.
“We took him over to the valley this morning to have a look around, he wasn’t out to break any records at all…(Damien) Oliver rode him and said he went very well,” Smith said.
He was a dominant winner two weeks back at Caulfield and Smith is hoping he can maintain that level of performance throughout the spring carnival.
“I think the horse looks in great shape, he’s settle din down here in Melbourne, I’m looking forward to Saturday,” he said.
Among his rivals for the Mitty’s McEwen Stakes are expected to be Crystal Lily, Periduki, Happy Zero and the horse that beat him in the Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm Buffering.
“The field looks a pretty strong field but let’s hope he’s up to it all,” Smith said.
Originally Atomic Force was likely to progress on a path towards the Group 1 Manikato Stakes but Smith says that ceases to be a possibility should his level of performance falter.
“We’ll take him race by race and we’ll sit down after Saturday and see where we end up,” he said.
Once again he will be ridden by Damien Oliver who it seems took just as much out of their last start win as did the horse.
“He got off a little bit more confident then what he did the Tuesday before last start,” Smith said.