Trainer Rhys Radford is confident his courageous seven-year-old Great Shot is ready to fire first-up at Belmont on Saturday.

After a strong barrier trial win at Lark Hill, Great Shot is set to resume his campaign in the Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m).

“He is going very well and I’m very happy with him,” Radford told Tabradio.

“He had his last gallop for Saturday this morning (Wednesday) and all is good.

“Hopefully with a little bit of luck in running he should go very close.”

In a field of 10 starters Great Shot has drawn perfectly in barrier four.

Jockey Craig Staples, who has been associated with the son of Magnus throughout his 38 start career, maintains his link with the gelding.

Radford says he expects Great Shot to lead the Birthday Stakes.

“He’s drawn the right barrier to lead if he wants to,” Radford said.

“He probably pretty much should just jump to the front.

“He can sit outside of the leader as long as they are going at a good gallop.

“He is very much a rhythm horse and one dimensional.

“He either has to be in front or outside of the leader.”

Great Shot has placed on nine occasions from 14 starts since a career-high win in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) two years ago.

The seven-year-old, a winner of nearly $1.5 million in prizemoney, last raced in June when fourth to Galaxy Star in the Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m).

“Every time you put a saddle on him he gives you 110 percent,” Radford said.

“If he could give more he would.

“It’s full steam ahead and I’m looking forward to it.”

Julio Santarelli