Adam Durrant is confident Massimo can follow on from his impressive debut and be hard to beat in the Tabtouch-Better Your Bet Plate (1000m) at Belmont on Saturday.
A son of Sessions, Massimo made the perfect start to his racing career when he worked home strongly to overhaul At War and win by a half-length two weeks ago.
Durrant says Massimo is the pick of his three-year-old’s ahead of the Ascot carnival.
“Massimo is probably our flag bearer for our three-year-olds’ at the moment,” Durrant said on Tabradio.
“He is a really nice horse and I think he will be very hard to beat again on his work.”
Top apprentice Jade McNaught replaces Brodie Kirby on Massimo. In a field of ten the gelding has drawn barrier ten.
Durrant is positive Massimo can launch a big day with At The Ready and First Affair to clash in race seven and Touch Of Silver, Battle Torque and Miracle Man in race eight.
With William Pike aboard, At The Ready is poised to win his first race this campaign.
Miracle Man backs up after an unlucky fourth to Free Trade last week.
“At The Ready is ready to put something together,” Durrant said.
“Willie is back on and has a good record on him.
“Miracle Man was unlucky on Saturday and didn’t get a lot of room.
“That was a pretty reasonably strong race.
“Him, Touch Of Silver and Battle Torque are really even hopes and it’s a shame I can’t split them up.
“They are all ready to win one, but probably Massimo is the one that you can keep following.”
Massimo is the $3 favourite with Tabtouch.
At The Ready is the $4.80 second pick behind Spiritual Warrior ($4.40).
Battle Torque and Touch Of Silver are $11 and $16 respectively.
Durrant said dependent on Saturday’s performances Touch Of Silver and Miracle Man will target the Kalgoorlie carnival.
Battle Torque, a seven-year-old gelding with a record of 10 wins from 45 starts, could be headed east.
“I want to see how Miracle Man goes, but possibly the Hannans for him,” Durrant said.
“I do feel he is better off at the shorter range, rather than pushing up in distance.
“Touch Of Silver I’m keen to get up a bit further and he likes the flint hard track.
“Battle Torque may head to Melbourne for a stint.
“With his rating there is not a lot in Perth for him.”