A rank outsider for the Caulfield Group 3 on Saturday afternoon, trainer Matthew Williams is hoping exciting colt Reigning Meteor can overcome a talented field and slightly less-than-ideal conditions to win the 2014 Vain Stakes (1100m) first-up.
Performing well over three starts through his maiden racing preparation in autumn, Reigning Meteor has reportedly taken well to his brief stint in the paddock, maturing noticeably.
Understandably pleased with both his debut campaign and building form since returning to work, Williams said the firm ground expected at Caulfield on Saturday may not play directly into the strengths of the Northern Meteor colt, but is excited by the prospect of coming up against several notable three-year-olds.
“Maybe something a little bit softer first-up would have been ideal but in saying that I have been super happy with him at home,” Williams told AAP.
“He definitely seems to have come back better again and I guess we’re just trying to find out whether that is good enough to match it with the likes of Jabali and Nordic Empire.
“We’ll find out that out on Saturday and if he can we’ll be rapt.”
Yet to be tested on a good running surface, Williams said he is confident Reigning Meteor will find the Vain Stakes in great condition.
“He’s also been to Ballarat a couple of times for a gallop on the uphill track,” Williams said.
“He has done plenty of work and I’d say he’s quite forward going to the races first-up.”
Stamping his claims as one to watch when comfortably claiming a strong barrier trial at Terang prior to his first competitive run, Reigning Meteor was unlucky to finish second behind Red Casino in the IDetect 2.y.o Plate (1000m) on debut, but responded in the best way possible in winning both the Liston Landers Plate (1000m) and Simons Waterfront 2.y.o Handicap (1200m) back-to-back most recently.
Undoubtedly facing his biggest test to date in the 2014 Vain Stakes, Reigning Meteor is currently available at generous odds of $21 to win at Caulfield this weekend, or $5.80 to run a place with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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