Mitchell Pateman says Trekking is the biggest stumbling block to him winning a first Group 1 in the Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.

Pateman has healthy respect for Trekking and says he is clearly the horse to beat, but if there is a chink in his armour then Valour Road can expose it.

Pateman teams up with Valour Road for the first time on Saturday and considers the Simon Miller-trained five-year-old the leading local hope against Trekking.

Pateman takes over the riding duties from Chloe Azzopardi who guided Valour Road to a strong and determined victory in the Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m).

In the Colonel Reeves Stakes Valour Road faded to fifth behind Celebrity Queen, but endured a difficult run chasing tearaway leader, Condor Heroes on a heavy track.

After two wide draws in the Prince Of Wales Stakes and Colonel Reeves Stakes, Pateman has the luxury of finding a perfect run for Valour Road from barrier three.

“I think he’s got a chance and one of the better local chances for sure,” Pateman told Tabradio.

“I think Trekking is going to be mighty hard to beat.

“His form lines some of the horses could only dream about.

“But we have drawn a gate to get a really good run behind the speed.

“He is strong and looks very strong at the end of his races.

“He is going to be in the finish you would think.”

Valour Road is $14 with Tabtouch.

Meanwhile, in the Tabtouch Regional Championship Final: The Road To Ascot, Pateman is confident he is on the winner.

Pateman believes Pure Magnus will score bragging rights for Kalgoorlie and trainer Peter Fernie.

Pateman was keen to get back on Pure Magnus after partnering the gelding to victory at Kalgoorlie two starts back.

The five-year old has drawn wide, but Pateman is confident he can overcome it.

“I really, really like him and he is the horse I wanted to ride as soon as I won on him at Kalgoorlie,” Pateman said.

“This is not a strong race at all and he is the best horse in the race.

“He just needs luck from the barrier and I think he will win.”


Julio Santarelli