MOSSMAN son Neeson is capable of causing an upset in a small but select Group 1 ATC T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick tomorrow according to trainer Joe Pride who has two of the six runners engaged.
Already a multiple Group 2 winner, Neeson takes on the might and power of his stablemate Rain Affair who has been posted as the overwhelming favourite to win the race.
However Pride reckons punters should give Neeson his due respect in his return to Randwick.
“(Neeson) is not far off and if Rain Affair can’t do it on Saturday I hope it is him,” Pride told Sportsman.
“His two most impressive victories, the Tramway and the Premiere, are both at Randwick so I think it is his favourite track.”
Neeson’s jockey Michael Rodd, who won last week’s George Ryder Stakes on Metal Bender, said the five-year-old showed enough in the Challenge to suggest he will improve into tomorrow’s race.
It was the first time he’s ridden the gelding since they raced away with the Premiere Stakes (1200m) in the spring.
“The 1100m was probably too short for him, he never really travelled well even though the pace was really hot with a few of them jousting early,” Rodd said.
“He only picked up the bridle coming to the turn and he was great late.
“Rain Affair is going to roll along and it’s probably going to be a sprint home but my bloke is definitely going good enough.”