Trainer Matthew Williams is confident that Reigning Meteor is ready to live up to his potential in the 2014 Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Classic at Ballarat on Saturday.
Reigning Meteor made his racing debut in March with a narrow second at Warrnambool before he stamped himself as a horse to follow when he recorded back-to-back wins in the Liston Landers Plate at Donald on March 31 and the Simons Waterfront Handicap (1200m) at Warrnambool on May 1,
The Northern Meteor colt started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a credible eighth in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 16 and he was fifth in the Peter Elberg Funerals Handicap (1250m) at Morphettville Parks on September 6 before he returned to winning form at Ararat on October 14 and produced the best performance of his racing career to date in the Flemington Fling Stakes (1000m) on Melbourne Cup Day.
Williams told Racing Victoria that Reigning Meteor has always shown him plenty of talent at trackwork without replicating that form on raceday, but he now believes that the three-year-old is starting to put it all together and deserves his place on top of the Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Classic betting market.
“He over-raced badly in Adelaide three starts ago and couldn’t run out a strong 1200m, but we’ve since given him a couple of trials and taken him to Ararat for a bit of a kill where he was given a nice quiet ride by Damien Thornton to teach him to settle and he’s really turned the corner,” Williams said.
“Flemington was probably the first time on race day that he’s shown on race day the turn of foot that he shows us at home in his gallops on the course proper.
“Even when he was winning at Warrnambool and Donald as a two-year-old, I was thinking to myself I know he’s better than that and he’s shown more than that at home.”
Jockey Hugh Bowman took the ride on Reigning Meteor in the Flemington Fling Stakes, but Damien Thornton has been given the chance to reunite with the three-year-old after he steered him to victory in the China Bowl Sun Handicap (1100m).
Williams said that he was very pleased with the ride that Thornton gave Reigning Meteor at Ararat and is more than happy to give the rising hoop another opportunity on the promising colt.
“Hugh Bowman rode him terrifically well at Flemington and with Hugh unavailable we went back to Damien because he won on him at Ararat and rode him so well there,” Williams said.
“He understands what we’ve been trying to do in teaching the horse to relax over the last couple of months.”
Reigning Meteor is currently available at 2014 Magic Millions Three-Year-Old-Classic odds of $3 and is a clear favourite to take out the $100,000 race.