Lindsey Smith is confident Epic Grey can launch his winter campaign on a winning note in the Inglis Bloodstock Leading Trainer 2017/18 Handicap (1000m) at Belmont on Saturday.
Epic Grey resumes after he won the Magic Millions WA 3YO Trophy (1200m) in February and he looks spot on for his return after an impressive barrier trial behind The Celt on Monday.
“He was only asked to extend in the trial over the last 50m,” Smith told Tabradio.
“He didn’t have the blinkers, but I have left them on for Saturday.
“There is a bit of speed in the race and he will be obviously three deep somewhere.
“If he runs out of condition so be it, but he is not far off.
“He has a good campaign and a long campaign in front of him.”
Epic Grey, who holds a four win, six placing record from 10 starts, will carry 59.5kg with the claim of Tayla Stone and in a field of ten has drawn barrier eight.
The Wicked Style gelding is the $3.80 second favourite with Tabtouch. Fire And Rain, drawn perfectly in barrier one, is the market elect at $3.30.
Smith will also have two runners in the inaugural running of the $100,000 New Season Sprint (1000m).
Mr Motown won two in a row, but ran last in the Bolton Sprint (1200m) last month.
Flying Time is on the quick back-up after a dominant lead and win performance last week.
Smith said a rain-affected Belmont track swayed his decision to butter up Flying Time in consecutive weeks.
“He is a swimmer and was nominated simply because I looked at the weather,” Smith said.
“I took advantage of it because he doesn’t go a yard at Ascot and has to do the most of his racing now.”
Smith rates Reykjavik the best of his stable runners in the Happy Birthday Jaquie Young Handicap (1200m).
The four-year-old bombed the start last week before running on strongly to be placed fifth and 1 ¼ lengths from Yindi.
Reykjavik, drawn awkwardly in barrier 11, is rated a $3.80 chance behind Glimmer Girl ($3.70) and former Melbourne galloper Crystal Spirit ($2.80).
“I thought he was my best chance and was unlucky the other day,” Smith said.
“He is going good and looks magnificent.”