Better Land flew home late to finish second in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 9 and the Moody stable are confident that the Shamardal colt can record his maiden win at Group level in the 2014 Up And Coming Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Better Land was sent to the spelling paddock after he scored an impressive victory on debut in the Turnbull Plumbing Plate (1100m) at Sale on April 6 and he stamped himself as a genuine 2014 Spring Racing Carnival contender with his impressive performance in The Rosebud.
Moody Stable Racing Manager Jeff O’Connor said that the team were delighted with the first-up performance of Better Land and rate the three-year-old an excellent chance of going one better in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) on Saturday.
“He is the one that we are excited about tomorrow,” O’Connor said.
“He has had the one run and it was terrific.
“He has run on heavy ground, he won his debut, he has a great pedigree and this is a terrific race for him to try and win a Group 3.
“We have no negatives at all about him.”
Better Land was caught wide in the early stages of The Rosebud after jumping from the outside gate and the talented colt has drawn another awkward barrier for the Up And Coming Stakes this weekend and will jump from barrier seven.
O’Connor said that the riding instructions will likely be left up to veteran jockey Glyn Schofield, but is hopeful that Better Land will be able to take up a position just behind the leaders in the Up And Coming Stakes.
“He has drawn a little bit sticky again, so we will probably want to be positive out and get him travelling in the ground,” O’Connor said.
“There is a little bit of speed drawn inside and outside, so I suppose if we have that touch of luck and find a spot behind the leaders that would be ideal.
“With the heavy ground, off the rail there may be a little bit of fresher ground after the first two races.
“We will take everything into consideration and Glen will know the track and how it is playing.”
Better Land ($4.40) is currently a narrow favourite in the 2014 Up And Coming Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes Australia from Scissor Kick ($5), Meursault ($5.50) and Liberation ($7).