Trainer Michael Grantham says Comes A Time has the ability to overcome a wide barrier when he returns for a winter campaign at Belmont on Saturday.
The six-year-old, who has not raced since the Carbine Club Of WA Stakes (1400m) eight months ago, has drawn the widest gate in the Beaufine Stakes (1000m).
To be ridden by top jockey Chris Parnham, Comes A Time jumps from barrier 10 and is prominent in Tabtouch markets for the $125,000 Listed race.
The Sessions gelding sits on the third line of Tabtouch betting at $6, behind the $3 favourite, Real Danger and dual champion, Nerodio at $3.30.
“There is no point making any plans with him as we know he’s a fast horse out of the machine,” Grantham said on Tabradio.
“No doubt there is going to be a lot of speed underneath him, so I will leave all of that to Chris to sort out.
“I think I’ve got him right enough to sit wide in a race like this on Saturday, but I don’t want to be overdoing it.
“It’s his first start and he’s probably got a lot of Listed races coming his way at Belmont.”
Comes A Time has been a model of consistency since transferring to Grantham last year.
He won five races and placed as many times from 10 starts across two preparations.
He posted a maiden Listed win in the Birthday Stakes (1200m) and won the $100,000 Nicopolis Stakes (1200m).
“He’s proven,” Grantham said.
“He’s proven in this company.
“It’s not an overly strong race.
“It’s only because we’ve come up with a wide barrier that it makes it harder.
“But he’s capable.”
Grantham says Comes A Time is fit to resume after two lead in trials.
“I’ve tried as much as I can to tighten the screws on him,” Grantham said.
“I just galloped him before (Thursday) and he seems in the zone.”
Grantham says if there’s a threat to Comes A Time it’s likely to come from Nerodio.
The seven-year-old is chasing a slice of history by becoming the first horse to win the Beaufine Stakes in three consecutive years.
The Stephanie Bakranich-trained gelding, with Laqdar Ramoly in the saddle, defeated Mervyn (2022) and Gemma’s Son (2021).
“He’s (Nerodio) a very good horse and has drawn a great alley (1),” Grantham said.