Better Than Ready heading to Newmarket Handicap

By: Mark Mazzaglia
February 25th, 2013

Queensland three year old Better Than Ready has booked himself a berth in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in two weeks after an explosive win at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

better than ready

Better Than Ready heading to Newmarket Handicap after Eagle Farm win. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Better Than Ready bounced back from a defeat over 1000m two weeks ago to score by three lengths in the Listed $100,000 Coca-Cola Falvelon Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm.

Trainer Kelly Schweida gives Better That Ready a genuine lightweight chance in the Newmarket after the More Than Ready colt showed his class by setting a new 1200m track record at Randwick when he came from near last to win the Listed $100,000 Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) on October 20.

“He’ll get into the Newmarket with only 50 kilograms and that would be the attraction of having a go at a race like that,” Schweida said.

“There’s normally a hot speed in the Newmarket and he’d be able to get back and swoop home.”

Schweida instructed Ric McMahon to ride Better Than Ready closer to the speed on Saturday after drawing barrier two but will revert to his normal pattern of racing when he lines up at Flemington.

McMahon was able to get Better That Ready to begin fairly and held his spot just behind the leaders and after getting a split in the straight ran away for a dominant victory.

“The good alley was a real bonus to him and they weren’t slouches that he was racing so it was good to see him put them away like he did,” Schweida said.

“Once he drew so well it was always our plan to ride him a little bit closer.

“He’s still got a fair way to go as far as measuring up against better horses but he’s on an upward spiral.”

McMahon has a very high opinion of Better Than Ready and has been aboard the three year old for all his five wins but will have to relinquish the ride in the Newmarket as he will be unable to make the 50kg his is expected to be allocated.

“He’s learning every day and when I asked him to go he produced a phenomenal turn of foot,” McMahon said.

Fellow Queenslander Woorim’s Autumn campaign could be in doubt after the seven year old failed to beat a runner home in Saturday’s Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield.

Woorim, who was going for back to back wins in the Caulfield sprint was always near the tail of the field and failed to display his customary finishing burst and was subsequently found to be lame in both forelegs after the race.

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