Darren McAuliffe says his faith in Altani will be validated when the three-year-old takes on black-type company for the first time in the Listed Raconteur Stakes (1500m) at Ascot on Saturday.

Altani, a daughter of Universal Ruler, steps up to stakes grade after winning an Albany maiden by close to four lengths and McAuliffe confidently declares she will be hard to beat again.

“She is the best horse in this race by a long way,” McAuliffe told Tabradio.

“There are absolutely no two ways about it.

“If I have any fear of her not winning is the track’s too hard and she jars up.

“She wants nothing for ability and is a very, very talented racehorse.”

Altani ran third on debut at Bunbury last November before shedding her maiden status in Albany when she led from barrier to post over 1230m.

She meets a small field of six rivals in the Raconteur Stakes and has drawn perfectly in barrier one. Champion jockey William Pike takes the ride.

McAuliffe’s trust in Altani was given a further boost after she produced a rousing track gallop with WA Derby champion, Gatting, earlier this week.

“She worked with Gatting on Tuesday,” McAuliffe said.

“She sat behind and ran straight past him.

“And he is a good track worker, make no mistake.

“He is a seven furlong weight for age winner.

“He won the lead-up to the Railway last year.

“Don’t worry, I’ve dropped her in the deep end, but she has swum.

“She is an exceptional horse, as I said.

“The only query I have is if the track is too firm and she jars up on it.

“That will be the only thing that will be beating her.”

Cup Night, chasing three wins in a line, is the $2.60 Raconteur favourite.

Altani is next at $4.60.

Julio Santarelli