Jockey Shaun McGruddy is confident Misty Metal can win the Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m) first-up at Belmont on Saturday and continue to improve after a breakout campaign.
Misty Metal shot to prominence at Ascot last year when she won a hat trick of Listed races: the Jungle Mist Classic (1200m), the Summer Scorcher (1000m) and Miss Andretti Stakes (1100m).
McGruddy believes the daughter of Oratorio is ready to perform strongly in the Beaufine Stakes, his confidence boosted after she won a warm up trial in solid fashion.
“The trial was good and she was pretty much doing her best work untouched,” McGruddy told The Races WA.
“But she has worked good since and I probably take more confidence since the trial.
“She seems to have come back better I would say, a little bit more solid.”
The Tab has Misty Metal as the $3.40 favourite ahead of Electric Light ($3.60) with 2015 Beaufine winner Rock Magic and Rebel King at $5.50.
McGruddy, who won last year’s Beaufine on Durendal, says there are a couple of key reasons in favour of Misty Metal extending her winning record.
She’s won four races at 1000 metres, scored three times from five attempts at Belmont, hasn’t missed the money in three first up attempts and scored twice from three starts on soft going
McGruddy, who won the Beaufine Stakes last year when aboard Durendal, said those factors will again be pivotal in Misty Metal winning her fourth listed event.
“I think 1000 metres is really her best distance,” McGruddy said.
“1200 with a light weight she gets, but 1000 and 1100m metres are her best trips.
“And she has won at the 1000 metres at Belmont before.
“She has also won on a soft track so if we get a bit of rain that holds no fears for us.”
Misty Metal will carry 56.5kg and has drawn awkwardly in barrier seven.
Rising 10-year-old Rock Magic lumps the 62kg top weight.
McGruddy says a wide barrier won’t be a hindrance to Misty Metal.
“She has drawn the outside again, but has the pace to cross,” McGruddy said.
“You obviously want to save something for the finish.
“The barrier is not ideal but I am confident in her ability.”