Warrnambool trainer Lindsey Smith says he has the bases covered when In The Boat and Sacred Palace line up at The Valley. The pair contest the Dominant Sanitation Solutions Handicap (1200m) on Saturday with both leading chances according to early betting on the race.
Aiming for a fourth straight win, In The Boat is the $2.80 market leader with TAB, while Sacred Palace, after a first-up second at Terang on January 2, sits on the third line of betting at $8.50.
Smith said depending on how the track was racing would determine the chances of the pair. If the track is favouring those racing on speed, then In The Boat was the more fancied runner, and if “swoopers” were winning, then Sacred Palace’s chances were enhanced.
Smith said In The Boat had not gone backwards since he latest win at Caulfield on January 8.
“He’s easy to train,” Smith told RSN. “A hot day, that generally leads to being on speed and if something wants to take him on, that’s fine, so long as they roll along. But you’re at your own peril if you take him on.”
Smith said he has a lot of time for Sacred Palace and would prefer some give in the ground. He said the track was too firm for Sacred Palace at Terang when resuming and is expecting a better performance on Saturday.
“Going to the gates I was a bit worried because he comes from New Zealand,” Smith said. “He likes a little bit of cut in the ground, and he didn’t want to go the first 100 metres of the race and got too far out of his ground.
“If they’re coming from the back [on Saturday], that gives him a chance. So I’ve got the race well covered, if they lead or are swooping. Both are nice horses, and it depends on the pattern which has the best chance.”