Trainer Matthew Smith isn’t one to shy away from a challenge.
And that’s why he has chosen the Ballarat Cup over two other races for French-bred stayer Zayam on Saturday.
Zayam could have been running in a lesser race at Doomben in Brisbane or even closer to home at Rosehill in Sydney, but with $300,000 prize money on offer, the Ballarat Cup (2200m) won out.
“You’ve got to take risks to get ahead in whatever you do and if you don’t you end up nowhere,” the Warwick Farm-based Smith said.
“So we’re going to have a go and see what happens.”
Zayam will be chasing a winning hat-trick when he lines up on Saturday and is a $16 chance in an open betting race that has the Robert Smerdon trained Ungrateful Ellen as the $5.50 favourite.
Smith says Zayam is in good order heading into Saturday’s race, but he is concerned the gelding may not be seasoned enough.
To a lesser extent he’s also concerned with the hot weather that Victoria has been experiencing in recent days, although cooler conditions are predicted on Saturday.
“The only thing that would concern me is if the track got too hard,” Smith said.
After hot weather earlier in the week, it was cool and showery at Ballarat on Friday.
Zayam has drawn the inside gate in the capacity field of 18 and has Vlad Duric in the saddle.
Smith says Zayam is a horse that likes to race forward and the draw will enable the gelding to take up a position on the speed.
“He can lead or sit handy and has a high cruising speed,” Smith said.
“He doesn’t have a lot of dash but he keeps on going at that high speed.
“He makes his own luck and if the sectionals are run right he will be a chance.”
While he rejected the Brisbane option for Zayam, Smith has sent Frill Seeking north for the Listed Arcade Classic (1200m) at Doomben.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au