Trainer Ray Vincent is optimistic he can claim his first stakes victory at Belmont Park on Saturday.
Vincent will saddle up Truly Reliable in the Listed Drummond Golf Belmont Classic (2200m).
Vincent believes his confidence in Truly Reliable measuring up is warranted following his encouraging third in last fortnight’s Aquanita Stakes.
The three-year-old son of Reliable Man finished two lengths shy of Tena Koutou, but Vincent says the way he finished the race off was reassuring.
With Shelby Bowtell aboard, Truly Reliable was doing his best work late and ran through the line strongly after coming from a midfield position.
After a 1300m Northam maiden win in May, it was the third consecutive minor placing for Truly Reliable at his eighth career start.
“I thought his last 100m was really strong,” Vincent told The Races WA.
“He’s still doing a few things wrong and wanted to over race early.
“I think now that he’s had that run over the journey he will generally improve.
“I think he is definitely looking for 2200m and I was happy to press ahead.”
Truly Reliable has drawn barrier one in the Belmont Classic. Bowtell retains the ride.
He is $6.50 with Tabtouch. Tena Koutou the $2.30 favourite to complete back-to-back feature wins.
Vincent says Tena Koutou is the horse to beat.
“I’m not going to say we can turn the tables on Tena Koutou, it’s hard to be that confident,” Vincent said.
“But he has pulled up super and is going into the race where I want him to be.
“He doesn’t do a lot of work between races, mainly treadmill work and a couple of gallops.
“I don’t put a saddle on him and it seems to hit the spot and work for him.
“That’s another reason why I was impressed with his last run.
“He hasn’t had that traditional build up to a staying trip with the miles in his legs.
“It’s exciting to have the opportunity of working with a promising horse.
“It’s great to be involved in a feature race.”