Brisbane jockey Ric McMahon has retained the ride on Better Than Ready when he kicks off his Melbourne Autumn Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $175,000 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
McMahon has ridden the smart sprinter in all of his eight wins to date and Eagle Farm trainer Kelly Schweida said that there was no need to engage a Melbourne jockey.
“Ric has ridden him in all eight of his wins and he knows the horse,” Schweida told AAP.
The set weights with penalties also allows the heavy weight jockey to take the ride in the Rubiton Stakes with Better Than Ready being allocated 57kg for the 1100m scamper around Caulfield.
The More Than Ready four year old is the winner of his last two starts with Schweida giving him a freshen after carrying 60.5kgs to win the Listed $100,000 Brisbane Racing Club Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on November 23.
Better Than Ready finished third in a recent Doomben barrier trial with McMahon in the saddle as a warm up for his Autumn Carnival campaign that is aimed at a second attempt to win the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9.
Schweida brought Better Than Ready to Melbourne last year as a three year old and he finished a handy fifth to Shamexpress in the Newmarket Handicap with Craig Williams in the saddle.
The Brisbane trainer had to miss the Spring with Better Than Ready after the stable star sustained several injuries in a track accident and Schweida thought the bad luck had returned when things didn’t go his way in the Doomben barrier trial.
“You wouldn’t believe it in a five-horse trial he got held up for a run. When he got out with fifty metres to go he really hit the line,” Schweida said.
“Let’s hope that’s the end of the bad luck.”
Better Than Ready will progress to the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 22 before lining up in the his second Newmarket Handicap.