Paul Roberts says Just Act Natural has overcome a minor setback and is poised to turn the tables in the Listed Farnley Stakes (1400m) at Belmont on Saturday.
The Bunbury trainer believes his promising sprinter can go one better after running a gallant second to It’s It in last fortnight’s Listed Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m).
“He must have got galloped on in the Idyllic Prince or got a bump or something because he bruised the cannon bone on the inside of the offside back leg,” Roberts said on TABradio.
“It blew up a bit for a few days and caused us a few concerns. He never went lame, but there was a bit of filling there, but fortunately with plenty of ice he hasn’t missed any work.
“He is back really well and looks really good. He was as brave as anything last-start and I’m confident he will run out a strong 1400m.”
Just Act Natural meets It’s It 3.5kg better for his head defeat in the Idyllic Prince Stakes. The son of Natural Blitz is the TAB’s $2.70 favourite. In a field of eight he has drawn barrier two for Glenn Smith.
It’s It, who combines with apprentice Randy Tan from barrier three, shares the second line of betting with Flying Time and Key To Fame at $5.50.
Sean Casey’s Stocks, quoted a $15 chance, is aiming to become the third horse in Farnley Stakes history to win the race on consecutive occasions.
Stocks was a winner at his previous start in July and warmed up for his return when he defeated Wacked Out in a 1000m trial at Belmont Park.
Casey said Stocks, who has drawn barrier seven for Steven Parnham, was primed to run a top race first up this campaign.
“He has been doing plenty of work for a 1400 metre and it looks a nice race for him,” Casey said.
“He knows the trip well and is dropping weight on his last win. It’s a nice even field and he should be finding the line.
“I have a lot of respect for It’s It and I reckon Red Ora will be the surprise packet in the race.
“But I’m confident he (Stocks) will be in the finish and it will be a nice stepping stone for the Hannans in a fortnight.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli