Dan Morton is confident Man Booker is right in the mix to fight out the finish of the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Perth horseman said Man Booker had come on in leaps and bounds since he launched the first leg of a Brisbane treble in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 three weeks ago.
Man Booker ran eighth behind The Bostonian, but lost no admirers after travelling wide throughout and hitting the line strongly over the concluding stages.
It was Man Booker’s first run back since the Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot last November and Morton said he was delighted by the return run.
“I liked what I saw,” Morton told The Race WA.
“He rattled home and wasn’t beaten that far behind big types.
“I couldn’t be happier with him at the moment.
“He is absolutely thriving and will improve fitness wise.
“He was always going to improve coming off one trial.
“He galloped on the course proper on Tuesday and it was a sweet piece of work.
“He is really in terrific shape and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
Morton is hoping Man Booker can give him another feature highlight in Queensland following the previous success of Scenic Shot in the Sunshine State.
The Scenic gelding enjoyed some of his best wins in Queensland when he claimed two Doomben Cups, a Brisbane Cup and the Hollindale Stakes before retirement.
Man Booker has drawn barrier eight of 18 in the Kingsford Smith Cup. Jake Bayliss retains the ride.
“I’m keen to give Jake the chance,” Morton said.
“He’s does his homework and is a Group 1 winning jockey.
“He’s based himself in Queensland for the winter and is a good kid.”
Man Booker, raced by an all-female syndicate, is attempting to scale elite company in Brisbane, but has raced with distinction throughout his Perth career.
The six-year-old has amassed 10 wins from 23 starts including the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m), the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) and four Listed events.
The son of Discorsi is closing in on one million dollars in prize money.
Man Booker, who has three wins from six second-up attempts, is rated $41 with Tabtouch.