The opportunity of winning his first feature race sits comfortably on the shoulders of Hayden Ballantyne.
The former Fremantle Dockers forward is lapping up the pressure as he prepares to win the Magic Millions WA 2YO Classic (1200m) with top hope She’s Greysful.
Three years after retiring from the AFL and turning his hand to training, Ballantyne says winning a major two-year-old race on Saturday will be a major boost to his fledgling career.
“It will be massive,” Ballantyne said on Tabradio.
“It’s what a lot of the trainers target, these two-year-old type runs, this is the one that they want.
“David Harrison is a mentor of mine and he always aims for this race.
“And with the sales coming up it’s pretty handy if I could pick it up.
“It’s a race I’m aiming for.”
She’s Greysful goes into the race in winning form after a solid 1100m victory over Magic Millions rivals Sheeza Belter and Street Parade.
With Steven Parnham in the saddle, the daughter of Vert De Grece came with a strong finishing run from seventh position and won by one length.
Bought for $25,000, it was She’s Greysful’s second race start after she finished fifth to Sunny Honey over 1000m when on debut last month.
Ballantyne said there was much to take out of She’s Greysful’s maiden success.
“Without sounding arrogant I expected her to run like that,” Ballantyne said.
“She ran on really well when she got some space.
“She let down really nice and Stevie (Parnham) was rapt with the run.
“A couple of weeks before when she ran fifth she couldn’t get out in time.
“Her last two runs she’s pulled up really well.
“I haven’t had a lot of two-year-olds come through, but most pull up shinny after a run like that.
“She’s pulled up in really good spirits and is jumping around the yard.
“She’s ready to go on Saturday.”
With chief rivals drawing wide, She’s Greysful has drawn perfectly in barrier six. Steve Parnham maintains the ride.
“The gate is going to play a huge role because anything can happen in these two-year-old races,” Ballantyne said.
“Having a good gate like that gives Stevie a few options and hopefully we get a good run.”
She’s Greysful has eased from $4 to $4.40 with Tabtouch. Ahead of her are Street Parade $3.90 and Sheeza Belter $4.20.