Over a busy weekend in Australia and Asia exciting three-year-olds Better Than Ready and Stepitup put their hands up as the ones to beat when they aim higher at Group 1 events next month.
Better Than Ready (More Than Ready) will be aimed at the Group 1 BTC Cup on May 11 following his impressive win in the LR Mick Dittman Plates (1000m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Trainer Kelly Schweida, who purchased the colt from Newgate Farm at the 2011 Inglis Easter yearling sale for $140,000, said Better Than Ready was a way off peak fitness as he works towards the BTC Cup then hopefully onto the Stradbroke.
“He’s a long way from being at his best right now, but I’m happy where he’s at,” Schweida said. “He has to lift a bit to be winning a race like the Stradbroke, but he got the job done and in the end it was pretty soft.”
On Sunday in Singapore, Stepitup (Hussonet) maintained his position as the horse to beat in the G1 Singapore Guineas on May 17 after taking out the G2 Singapore 3YO Classic over 1400m at Kranji.
The owners of Stepitup have already secured an S$50,000 Bonus thanks to the galloper winning the first two legs of the G3 Singapore 3YO Sprint (1200m) and G2 Singapore 3YO Classic (1400m).
An extra S$100,000 Bonus is up for grabs if Stepitup can bag the Guineas next month, thus making a clean sweep of the series, as completed by Better Than Ever, Gingerbread Man and Super Easy the last three years. “It’s all about the horse,” trainer Sonny Yeoh said. “The Triple Crown dream is still alive, but we’ll have to see how he pulls up first.”
Stepitup, which was purchased for $90,000 from the draft of Bellerive Stud at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, has now earned over S$470,000 thanks to six wins and a second placing from seven career starts.
The galloper’s main dangers in the Guineas are likely to come from Classic placegetters Super Ninetyseven ($50,000 Classic) and Zac Spirit ($150,000 Easter).
Other stakes success by Inglis graduates recorded over the weekend included:
Everage ($20,000 Classic) – LR ATC Keith Mackay Hcp
Transporter ($16,000 Scone) – Listed BRC Members Hcp
Speediness ($18,000 Premier) – Listed MRC Pink Ribbon Cup
Elderly Paradise ($21,000 Premier) – Macau G3 Grand Lisboa Cup
Geely Spirit ($135,000 Easter) – Macau G3 Oceanus Cup
Buyers looking to aim higher with an Inglis yearling are afforded three more purchasing opportunities during the 2013 Inglis Select Yearling Sales Series:
2013 VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale in Melbourne on 28 & 29 April
2013 Scone Select Yearling Sale in Scone on 19 May
2013 Classic Yearling Sale Winter Book in Sydney on 23 June
For all Inglis sales dates and information, click here.