Trainer Matthew Williams is hoping his long-range plan with Reigning Meteor will finally start paying off this Saturday in the $100,000 Magic Millions 3YO Classic (1100m) at Ballarat.
The three-year-old colt has had seven career starts, winning three and finishing second in one. Williams believes the son of Northern Meteor is only starting to deliver on his potential, showing much more at home during training than he has in any of his starts.
The colt narrowly won a BM64 Handicap over 1100 metres at Ararat two starts ago before a strong finish just outside the placings in the Schweppes #FlemingtonFling (1000m) on Melbourne Cup Day.
“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 told Racing Victoria.
“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.”
Reigning Meteor is currently the short-priced favourite to win the 3YO Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au, offering odds of $3.
He will jump from barrier eight of twelve with Damien Thornton in the saddle once again. The key to success on Saturday will be a patient ride according to Williams. He originally wanted Hugh Bowman, who rode Reigning Meteor on Melbourne Cup Day, to partner the colt again but the hoop was unavailable.
“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,” he said.
“He understands what we’ve been trying to do in teaching the horse to relax over the last couple of months.”
Williams is confident Reigning Meteor has it in him to win the race following preparation.
“It’s terrific prize money on offer and we’ve targeted him at this race,” Williams said.
“He goes there as good as we can get him and his work at Warrnambool on Tuesday morning he’s certainly going to take a fair bit of beating.”
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