Paul Roberts’ confidence in Just Act Natural will go on the line with the talented sprinter set to tackle the Listed Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m) at Belmont on Saturday.
The Bunbury-based trainer believes Just Act Natural has the ability to make a successful leap when he takes on feature race company for the first time in his career.
“You have to throw them in at the deep end at some stage,” Roberts said on TABradio.
“He should be pretty much ready to have a crack at it.
“He has come on in leaps and bounds after a virus last season.
“That set him back a bit, but he has done really well.
“Hopefully our patience will be rewarded.”
Just Act Natural, a Natural Blitz five-year-old, boasts a record of seven wins and six placings from 15 starts and prizemoney of $217,225.
He added to his winning tally last-start at Belmont when racing first-up he charged home from third to defeat Mad Brad by one length.
“He is very competitive and it’s the difference between a good one and a bad one,” Roberts said.
“He has done really well since his win the other day and has matured a bit.
“He came home and ate everything and continued on his merry way.”
In a field of seven starters Just Has Natural has drawn barrier six. In-form rider Glenn Smith reunites with the five-year-old.
“Glenn comes over and rides his fast work,” Roberts said.
“He is a great judge and a terrific rider.
“To have him on board is always a great thing for us.
“We have a fair bit of history going a long way now.”
Just Act Natural carries 59kg in the Idyllic Prince Stakes, a rise of 2 ½ kg on his previous win on August 5.
“He has won with 58 ½ kg on his back before so he is going to carry the weight and that will be in his favour,” Roberts said.
“There are a couple of good seasoned campaigners in it like It’s It, Battle Hero and Miki Two Toes.
“They are good hard horses who have been in that company.
“He is a horse who is progressing so that’s against him.
“But he is a pretty handy horse who will be competitive.”
Just Act Natural is the TAB’s $3.20 second favourite. Heading the market is Battle Hero at $2.20.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli