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Pateman maintains faith In Almighty Class

Mitchell Pateman has never wavered in his opinion that gun three-year-old Almighty Class could win a major feature event, the only question in his mind was when and where.

Pateman hoped it could have been at last year's Ascot Pinnacles carnival, but the chance went begging and cruelly cut short by a viral complaint that put Almighty Class out of action until March.

Almighty Class headed for the paddock after winning the $100,000 Max Simmond Stakes (1000m) and placing a close second behind Super Smink in the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m).

With bragging rights and huge prizemoney up for the taking at Ascot on Saturday, this weekend is as good a time as any for Almighty Class to validate Pateman's huge opinion of him.

Pateman acknowledges Almighty Class faces a massive task to win Perth's richest race, the $5 million The Quokka, with his biggest worry the depth and quality of opposition.

Almighty Class has given cameo glimpses of his budding talent, but with just the four runs under his belt he goes to a whole new level against more seasoned and performed rivals.

With local fan favourite, Amelia's Jewel, interstaters Bella Nipotina, Overpass, Malkovich and King Of Sparta, as well as international raider Waitak, Pateman hopes Almighty Class can rise to a career peak.

He says the son of Playing God has been the victim of circumstances after not securing a knockout win from the first two starts of his autumn campaign.

Almighty Class got held tight in a pocket first up as hot favourite and according to Pateman wasn't suited two weeks ago when he sat outside frontrunner, Ice Pick Nick.

With that run fresh in Pateman's memory, he says Almighty Class will revert back to his best asset and race tactic after drawing favourably in barrier eight.

"He probably gets the race shape he wants on Saturday to see him at his best I would have thought," Pateman said to The Races WA.

"I think he gets speed, which is probably what he needs. The way the barrier draw has turned out he gets the chance to sit behind them.

"When he gets cover you will see a different horse. The two starts he's got cover he's exploded. The starts he hasn't got cover he hasn't exploded.

"We'll revert back to riding him with cover and his sectionals suggest he will measure up."

Despite Pateman's high hopes, punters don't share the same enthusiasm. Almighty Class has eased from $34 to $41 after Tuesday's barrier draw.

Amelia's Jewel, runner-up in last year's Quokka, is the $3.10 favourite, ahead of defending champion Overpass at $4.60 and Oscar's Fortune $6.

"I think he'll measure up for sure," Pateman said. "If he was going into this off his first up run I think everyone would still be talking about him.

"He looked to have every chance last start, but I don't think that's the way to ride him. I can understand why people have forgotten about him, but if we ride him with cover I think he's up to this grade."

Fresh from his WA Derby (2400m) triumph last week, jockey Jarrad Noske maintains his association with Almighty Class.

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