Brisbane trainer Kelly Schweida had to revert to Plan C for his smart three year old Better Than Ready to kick off his Autumn Carnival campaign.
Scwheida is hoping third time lucky for Better Than Ready at Eagle Farm tomorrow after the More Than Ready colt’s Autumn preparation was delayed when the Australia Day holiday meeting at Doomben was abandoned after Brisbane was deluged with rain from ex tropical cyclone Oswald.
The Eagle Farm trainer then ventured to Sydney to run Better Than Ready in a benchamark 84 Handicap over 1100m at Rosehill but was forced to scratch when the track came up with a heavy 10 rating and returned to Brisbane without a run.
“Running this Saturday at Eagle Farm is Plan C but it’s a better option for him and he’s been really bright and relaxed since he got home which is what I wanted to see,” Schweida said.
“I know he would’ve put in and tried his heart out but with the 59 on his back it would’ve been too taxing.”
Better Than Ready is ready to take on some tough short course sprinters over 1000m at Eagle Farm in the Coca-Cola AMATIL Open Handicap and Schweida is expecting his new stable star will be very hard to beat.
“There’s a few tough old sprinters in the race so he won’t want to slip up but as long as he runs well I’ll be happy,” Schweida said.
“Is he good enough? I think he is. Is he fit enough? I think he is.”
Better Than Ready won’t have it all his own way and jockey Ric Mahon will be looking to get some cover in the early stages after jumping from barrier thirteen.
“Drawing out wide means he’ll have to go further back than we would have liked and it’s a big field so he’s probably going to encounter a bit of traffic,” Schweida said.
“But I think he’s good enough to overcome those factors.”
McMahon has developed a good association with the three year old and was aboard when Better Than Ready created a new Randwick 1200m track record of 1.08.19s in winning the Listed $100,000 Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) on October 20 .
Schweida is keen to test Better Than Ready in top company but his original plan to progress to the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 23 is up in the air due to the delayed start to his Autumn campaign.
Even with the awkward barrier draw Better Than Ready has been posted the $2.30 favourite tomorrow with the Liam Birchley trained Lieslel the only other runner under double figures at $5.50.