Notorious One can continue his progression towards Ascot feature races later this year when he attempts to claim a winning hat trick at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Notorious One meets his toughest test to date in the Listed Farnley Stakes (1400m), but co-trainer Michael Gangemi is confident he’s ready to take the next step.
“I’m mindful he still does a few things wrong in his races and he won’t be able to get away with that at this level,” Gangemi said.
“It’s a big jump in class, but I also know he has a stack of raw ability and is richly talented.
“He’s well weighted, nicely drawn, likes a bit of sting out of the ground and loves Belmont.
“He has won five from six starts at Belmont and arguably should be unbeaten after an unlucky third.
“He has been up a fair while, but is going really well and is starting to put it all together.
“As a six-year-old he’s the youngest in the race and one that’s on the rise.
“I think he is going to be very hard to beat.”
Patience has been the key for Gangemi and his brother, co-trainer Chris, after buying Notorious One as a weanling from Arrowfield Stud.
Immaturity and a couple of setbacks meant they were forced to delay his introduction to racing until last year when he was a five-year-old.
Their perseverance is being rewarded with Notorious One posting seven wins from 13 starts since his winning debut at Belmont almost a year back.
Gangemi said Notorious One had come along in leaps and bounds and if he maintained his improvement rich Ascot races were on the horizon.
“It’s not really a surprise how well he has come on, because we always knew the ability he had,” Gangemi said.
“He’s really toughened and matured and I don’t know of horses that have gone on to win seven races in basically their first campaign of racing
“If he blows them away on Saturday then we’ll give him a break and come back for the Asian Beau and Railway Stakes.
“If he wins well, those are the races we are going to have to look at it.
“The weekend will be a good guide of where we really are with him.
“We’ll see what happens.”
In a field of seven starters in the Farnley Stakes, Notorious One gets out from barrier five.
Clint Johnston-Porter keeps the ride and will look to maintain his perfect record.
“Clint deserves a lot of credit for putting work into Notorious One,” Gangemi said.
“He knows him really well and has never been beaten on him.
“He has had the three rides for three wins.”
Notorious One, on the 54kg minimum, has been backed into $2.40 Tabtouch favouritism.
Tellem We’re Comin is next at $3.50.
Gangemi said Tellem We’re Comin is the biggest threat to Notorious One.
The Group 1 Railway Stakes is run at Ascot on November 20 and the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) on October 30.