Rhys Radford says Great Shot is ready for his racetrack return at Belmont, the eight-year-olds first official appearance in close to a year after recovering from a leg injury.
Racing first-up since the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) last October, Great Shot is set to kick off his campaign in the Listed Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m) on Saturday.
After running second to Over There in a 1000m Belmont trial Monday week ago, Radford is confident Great Shot will be close to his top for his first-up assignment.
“He needed the trial, but has come on nicely since with a couple of gallops,” Radford told The Races WA.
“It’s been a long, slow build up and he seems raring to go.
“He might need the run, but I’m pretty confident he is there fitness wise.
“We’ve had a lot of time to get him ready and he shows no signs of the leg injury that kept him out for so long.
“He’s had a lot of swimming as part of his rehabilitation which is something we don’t normally do.
“So from that perspective it’s been a different routine and build up for him.
“The test will come on Saturday, but I’m more than happy with him.
“He should be around the mark and hopefully it’s the launch of another successful campaign that will lead to another shot at the Railway Stakes (1600m).”
Great Shot is out to end a losing drought that stretches back to his best win in the Railway Stakes three years ago.
Since the Group 1 victory in 2017, the son of Vital Equine has been placed on 11 occasions from his next 16 starts.
Meanwhile Radford says Comfort Me is beginning to realise his abundant talent.
A last-start winner at Belmont, the Playing God four-year-old saluted for the first time this campaign after a hat trick of minor placings.
“I’ve got a lot of time for him,” Radford said.
“I think the penny is starting to drop for him.
“I’m really happy with how he is going.
“He will just go through the grades.
“I’m not sure how much he has left this preparation.
“It’s one race at the time.”