Trainer Matt Laurie is excited about the potential of his two-year-old colt Ranveer, who will make his debut at Flemington, but he is already rueing the race that got away.
That race was the Clockwise Classic at Ballarat on November 21 when Ranveer was backed into favouritism.
Even astute rival trainer Mick Price, who had a runner in the event, all but conceded victory to Ranveer in a pre-race interview.
Unfortunately for Laurie, Ranveer presented with a cough on race morning and had to be scratched.
“He had galloped well during the week. There was no sign there was anything wrong with him and then on the morning of the race he was coughing,” Laurie said.
Laurie said Ranveer had excess mucus but had been treated since then and appeared to have recovered.
Ranveer will now make his debut at Flemington on Saturday in the #Lovethehorse over 1100 metres.
“Going into the Clockwise Classic I thought he would win but this is a different set of circumstances,” Laurie said.
“There’s a lot of well-bred colts having their first starts and it’s also over 1100 metres at Flemington.”
Just as he was in the pre-race betting at Ballarat, Ranveer, who will be ridden by Ben Melham, has been heavily supported with the TAB, firming from $3.90 into $2.50 since betting opened on Wednesday.
“His trials are out there for everyone to see winning comfortably at Mornington and Ballarat. He’s got a lot of talent,” Laurie said.
“He had to have a fair bit of treatment but I think he handled it pretty well.
“He’s been kept up to the mark since and seems fine but we probably won’t find out until he is in a race day situation.”
Laurie said the son of Winning Rupert, who he purchased for $200,000 at the Perth Magic Millions Sales, was potentially the best two-year-old he had trained.
His current benchmark is The Travelling Man, who won a 2012 Blue Diamond Preview but he rates Ranveer as superior.
Laurie said he wanted to see how Ranveer performed on Saturday before deciding whether to target the Magic Millions Classic next month, or wait for the Blue Diamond Stakes.