Lindsey Smith has added blinkers in a bid to sharpen Orikhan who drops back to the mile in the www.avoneventsandmarketing.com Maiden at Northam on Thursday.
The Casuarina trainer declared on Tab Radio that the son of Moysater might be a bit better than first anticipated and was on the cusp of breaking through.
Orikhan raced in Kalgoorlie last season but failed to set the world on fire when unplaced in both his starts over the sprint journey.
Maturity and a change of environment appear to have benefited the four-year-old who has shown improvement under Smith’s tutelage.
Orikhan ran into in form filly Star Of Husson (1600m) at Bunbury and battled on for a tenacious third after racing wide throughout.
The gelding then worked hard to chase pacesetter Star Of Huracan (2000m) when ¾ length second at the same track on May 1.
“It looks like he is going to be better than what anyone expected,” said Smith.
“I say that in the context of what the owners paid for him.
“I’ve put the blinkers on to help him win over the mile.
“It will just give him a bit more speed.
“He will make a Saturday horse and especially over a distance.
“I think he will be awfully hard to beat.”
Orikhan, in the hands of jockey William Pike, steps from barrier 13.
Trainer Dan Morton will be relying on Pike’s sublime skills when he pilots his two-year-old juvenile Guns And Money in the AVC WA Day June 2 Maiden (1100m).
The Blackfriars gelding, who ran second to Myboypaul on debut at Pinjarra on Anzac Day, copped a blow when he drew the widest gate in the field of 10.
“He looks a horse that will make the grade,” said Morton.
“The draw is awkward but it’s a long straight and he will have his chances to get over them.”
Guns And Money’s major threat, Rule To Wyn, prepared by Jim Taylor, has also drawn wide in gate eight
The Universal Ruler filly will be improved on her first up third to Mr Mowtown (1000m) at Pinjarra last month.