Shaun McGruddy has hit the ground running in the 2019-20 season, booting home seven winners to sit at the top of the jockey premiership ladder.
And he exudes an air of confidence that he can add to that tally when he partners the Steve Wolfe-trained Three Secrets and Blue Horse for Ashley Maley at Belmont on Saturday.
Blue Horse, who tackles the Magic Millions Handicap (1600m), has improved out of sight after commencing her campaign last month as a maiden.
After breaking her duck in a soft mid-week maiden on July 24, the War Chant mare has run a couple of cracking seconds in Saturday grade.
At her most recent start behind a fast pace, Blue Horse powered home from well back in race best final 600m to finish 1 ¾ lengths runner-up.
Blue Horse is the $5 second favourite behind last-start winner Kelly’s Secret ($3.90), her priced slashed after she opened as high as $10.
To start from barrier 11 in the field of 16, McGruddy is confident Blue Horse can continue her improved form.
“All I can say is she keeps on improving,” McGruddy said on Tabradio.
“When she won her maiden she had no form before that.
“But since then she has been really appreciating the soft tracks with a bit of give in it.
“Her last two have been sensational and especially last start when she had to get a long way back from the gate.
“They did set it up for us to come from behind, but she still made up a lot of ground.
“From a tiny bit better barrier we can be a little bit closer and hopefully that gives her a better chance of winning.”
Three Secrets is enjoying a good campaign after winning first-up off a good break without a trial and then placing a solid second to Why Choose Her.
At his third run in and a small weight swing in his favour, McGruddy says So Secret can turn the tables on Why Choose Her in the Elijah Nathan 60th Birthday Handicap (1200m).
“He was a little bit flat last-start, but still ran a terrific race,” McGruddy said.
“There was only 10 days from his first up run and he gave away weight to the winner.
“He has freshened up nice and gets his chance again.
“I expect him to go well.”
At $5 So Secret sits third in market order behind Why Choose Her ($3.90) and Final Hearing ($4.80).
McGruddy’s book has been restricted to two rides after the scratching of The Fugazi on Friday.