Co-trainer Jason Miller is adamant Jackpot Prince can cause an upset and dethrone star three-year-old Gatting in the $100,000 Listed Belmont Classic on Saturday.
Gatting, the WA Derby champion, holds hot favouritism, but Miller believes Jackpot Prince is an emerging stayer who will thrive over 2200m.
Miller’s confidence in Jackpot Prince was validated two weeks ago when he ran an eye-catching third to Variation in the Listed Aquanita Stakes (2000m).
The Casino Prince gelding, who made the jump to listed grade after back-to-back mid-week victories, didn’t look out of depth in stakes company.
He finished powerfully from well back in the field and swept past a brave Gatting, who faded to fourth after a torrid run out wide.
Miller lavished praise on the run and said he expects Jackpot Prince to hold the ascendancy over Gatting for a second time.
“His run last-start was top class and pity it wasn’t another 100 or 200 metres with the way he was hitting the line,” Miller said on Tabradio.
“He goes up another 200 metres which will suit and the bonus with him is he can stay all day.
“On his last run I would think he is the horse to beat you would have thought.
“He is our best runner on the day and I can’t fault him on what he has done.
“He has trained on well and on his last three runs he is definitely up to Saturday grade.”
Jackpot Prince, one of two starters for Miller and co trainer Geoff Durrant, shares the second line of betting with Western Temple ($6).
Gatting, who rebounded from his Aquanita Stakes defeat, when he circled the field from last to defeat Rosewood Hill over 2100m a week ago, is a firm $1.85.
Miller and Durrant’s outside chance, Fast As The Wind, is at $51.
The Blackfriars filly ran fifth to Fontainebleau in last fortnight’s Belmont Oaks.
“She has ability, but in her preparation she is a run behind where we want to be,” Miller said.
“She will improve fitness wise, but it’s a step up in class.”
Clint Johnston-Porter picks up the ride on Jackpot Prince and jumps from barrier 13.
Shaun McGruddy and Fast As The Wind combine from barrier six.