Going up against the might of Sydney’s leading trainers doesn’t faze Ben Smith.
Pitted against two-year-olds trained by Chris Waller, John O’Shea and Gai Waterhouse, the Newcastle trainer believes Enterprise Mount won’t be outclassed in a 1400m-handicap at Rosehill on Saturday.
“It’s a hard race stepping up to Saturday city grade, but I don’t think he’s out of his league,” Smith said.
If Enterprise Mount can measure up he will deliver the fledgling stable its first Saturday city winner.
Smith said after three disappointing barrier trials he decided to give the colt his last chance to avoid being gelded in his debut at Newcastle on July 2.
“Probably just prior to the run we were trying to get him to switch on,” Smith said.
He said blinkers were key, as the colt scored an easy victory in the maiden race on his home track.
But the horse’s development has still got a way to go.
“The penny hasn’t dropped yet,” Smith said.
“Whatever he does this time in, he’s definitely going to improve off.
“He’s continued to improve in leaps and bounds since his first run and he worked quite sharply on Saturday.”
As he prepares to challenge Sydney racing’s powerhouses, Smith, 33, has nine horses in work and a handful of others in pre-training.
And that’s the way he likes it.
“We’re only a small stable, but we can be hands on and really cater to each individual horse,” he said.
Christian Reith has been booked to ride Enterprise Mount, who is a three-quarter brother to Group One-winning mare Nechita.
He cost $110,000 at a ready-to-race sale in Sydney and is raced by the South Coast’s Lavelle family and their relatives.