Young star ready for Newmarket

Brisbane trainer Kelly Schweida has been around long enough not to be seduced into thinking his lightly raced sprinter Better Than Ready will win Saturday's $1 million Newmarket Handicap on the strength of a stirring track gallop and a continuing betting plunge on the three-year-old.

As Schweida flew back to Brisbane on Tuesday night to oversee his 35-strong team at Eagle Farm, he had time to digest his morning at Flemington where Better Than Ready had cruised to victory in a jump-out, running the 800 metres in 46.48 seconds.

''What the trial showed, and don't forget there were only three in it, is that he handled the straight track and had recovered from his trip down and settled in well since he arrived last Thursday,'' he said.

''It just means he's ticked another box on his way to Saturday's race.''

Schweida would not be the only one happy with the outcome of the gallop down the straight at Flemington. Punters who hammered bookmakers betting on Australia's most important sprint race would also be happy, with some securing as much as $81 on the Queenslander. He is now just $6.50 with most betting outlets.

But Schweida is more considered than those getting carried away about the Newmarket. He maintains that Saturday's race will be a ''telling measuring stick'' to where Better Than Ready stands with the cream of sprinters.

''He's potentially the best horse I've trained, but he's got to get there yet,'' he said.

Costing $140,000 at the Sydney yearling sales two years ago, Better Than Ready quickly established himself as a sprinter of note in Brisbane, before bursting to prominence with victory in the Brian Crowley Stakes at Randwick last spring.

In winning, Better Than Ready smashed the 1200-metre track record and defeated Jolie Bay, who subsequently was runner-up in the group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.

And Brave Soul, who finished third in the listed Randwick sprint, also came to Melbourne and was second to Shamal Wind down the straight during the spring carnival.

Schweida makes no secret that his sprinter's weight of 50.5 kilograms is the compelling reason to contest the Newmarket.

''He's ended up having a good preparation for a race like this. He's had two runs back; his third or fourth run should be his peak.''

This story Young star ready for Newmarket first appeared on Brisbane Times.