Running in a benchmark 84 handicap on February 2 may not be most traditional starting point for a horse that will be chasing Group 1 glory in the autumn but that is exactly what will happen at Rosehill on Saturday.
Queensland colt Better Than Ready will contest the $85,000 Spotless Sprint (1100m) before trainer Kelly Schweida sets him on a path geared towards maximising his stud value.
Exactly where the raw three-year-old makes his Group 1 debut is yet to be decided but it is believed the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 23 is a possibility.
Better Than Ready has also been nominated for the prestigious $1 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m) which will take place at Flemington on March 9.
Wet weather has limited the son of More Than Ready’s preparation so far and while he heads into Saturday’s hit-out slightly underdone, he is unbeaten fresh.
Schweida said only a heavy track would prevent the three-year-old kicking off his campaign this weekend.
The back-up plan is to take him back to Brisbane for a 1000-metre race on Saturday week but that would disrupt Schweida’s plan to run him in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 16.
Better Than Ready was the subject of a big betting plunge prior to his debut as a two-year-old last April and he justified the hype to come from the back and salute in convincing style.
After a fourth in the Listed Hampden Stakes at the Brisbane Winter Carnival he was sent to the spelling paddock before showing above average ability to begin his three-year-old career.
The exciting prospect won three of four starts during a spring campaign that took place predominantly in Brisbane but also featured a stunning win in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes at Randwick where he broke the 1200-metre track record.