It was pretty much love at her first sight for trainer Mitchell Pateman when he laid eyes on Playing God gelding, Almighty Class.
Two trials down and Pateman’s attachment to his horse has not diminished in any way, if anything, it’s lifted a notch or two.
Along with Pateman, Almighty Class caught the eye of onlookers at his most recent trial at Lark Hill when he won by a commanding five lengths, jumping and running speedily.
It brought ringing endorsement from Pateman, a former top jockey into his second full season of training, who considers Almighty Class to be one of the best horses he’s trained.
It’s high praise after he took gun mare, This’ll Testya, recently retired, to two stakes victories: the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) and Listed Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m).
After a couple of impressive warm ups, Pateman says it’s the right time to unleash Almighty Class.
Belmont offers the stage on Saturday in the Amelia Park Plate (1200m).
Pateman’s super confident Almighty Class can live up to his name and make the perfect debut.
“He’s my favourite horse and has replaced This’ll Testya in the stables,” Pateman said on Tabradio.
“A lot of high hopes I have for him and I think he’s one of the better ones I’ve had.
“I saw him standing in a paddock and thought what an amazing horse.
“He’s a big hulking son of Playing God and I was taken by him at the get-go.
“The first time we gave him a gallop he lit the track up.
“We’ve had a very, very big opinion of him for a long time.
“Hopefully, he replicates that on Saturday.
“I’d be pretty disappointed if he didn’t win.”
Almighty Class has shortened to $3.30 after he opened at $4 with Tabtouch.
He’s behind Ancient Guidance, trained by another former jockey, Ryan Hill.
Ancient Guidance coasted to an easy Saturday win two weeks ago after powering home from the back of the field.
The God Has Spoken two-year-old has firmed from $3.60 into $3.10.
Almighty Class has drawn barrier nine for Holly Watson and Ancient Guidance, to be ridden by Victoria Corver, jumps alongside in gate nine.
Meanwhile Pateman thinks Feels Playful can resume as a winner in the Drummond Golf Handicap (1400m).
The Playing God filly spruiked Ascot carnival potential after her win in the Listed Challenge Stakes (1500m) in February.
“She’s ticking along well and I thought her trial behind Buster Bash was good,” Pateman said.
“She’s a good horse, she’s a winner, she won a Listed race last prep.
“The company is not as strong and she gets a chance to win another race on Saturday.”
Pateman also has prospects with Miss Intention (R1) and Songaa (R3).