Trainer Kelly Schweida believes that his star galloper Better Than Ready will face stiff competition from Lankan Rupee in the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield this afternoon.
Better Than Ready is chasing his third straight victory after taking out the Club Super Handicap (1000m) and Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm during his summer campaign, but Schweida told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he was impressed with the barrier trial performance of Lankan Rupee and feels that he may prove tough to beat.
“It is a solid race today doing the form; that horse of Mick Price’s Lankan Rupee has a good form line through Snitzerland and Hot Snitzel,” Schweida said.
“I watch that horse (Lankan Rupee) trial the other day and I would be happy with a first three finish and hopefully improve out of the run.”
Schweida is desperately chasing a Group 1 victory with Better Than Ready and the four-year-old has been set for a second-up tilt at the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in a fortnights time.
The leading Brisbane trainer is hopeful that Better Than Ready will benefit from the experience of running at the unique Caulfield track this afternoon and take plenty of improvement into the Group 1 event on February 22.
“It is the first time around Caulfield and that is going to be pretty hard,” Schweida said.
“That is why he is here; to get that experience.
“It can be tricky the first time around, but he does have a gate and hopefully he can come out of the race with a nice improvement.”
Better Than Ready has recorded eight wins from 15 starts and picked up four Listed victories, but has been unable to breakthrough for a win at Group level.
The talented sprinter has had all his starts at Group level in Group 1 company and performed well in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) during the 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing as well as the BTC Cup (1200m) and the Doomben 10,000 (1350m) before finishing at the tail of the field in the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at the end of his winter preparation.
Better Than Ready ($4.20) is currently on the third line of 2014 Rubiton Stakes betting markets; with Lankan Rupee a narrow favourite from stablemate Lion Of Belfort ($3.30).