Michael Grantham holds strong hopes his outstanding run of form in black type races can continue at Belmont on Saturday.
One of the most promising up and coming trainers in Western Australia, Michael Grantham landed his third consecutive feature win on the weekend when Devoted took out a strong edition of the Belmont Guineas (1600m).
Devoted kick-started Grantham’s hot streak when he won the Raconteur Stakes (1400m) at the beginning of the month before Kaptain Kaos returned to his fighting best with a Hyperion Stakes (1600m) victory last fortnight.
The Demerit four-year-old bounced strongly to defeat hot favourite God Has Chosen by a neck after two underwhelming performances when unplaced in the Roma Cup (1200m) and Belmont Sprint (1400m) respectively.
Kaptain Kaos will fly the stable flag for Grantham in Saturday’s Strickland Stakes (2000m), going beyond a mile for the first time in his career and a facing another likely showdown against God Has Chosen.
“He’s all good and I’m rapt with him,” Grantham told Tabradio. “It was great to get the win (Hyperion Stakes) for him and the way he had done it, he out toughed it. I know the other horse (God Has Chosen) was coming, but he did really put in.
“I was worried he might not back up, but I was just going to see what he did in the feed bin. But he’s done everything right there and had a good gallop on Friday. He’ll have a gallop tomorrow (Tuesday) and hopefully that sets us up for Saturday.”
Kaptain Kaos has won eight races from 17 starts, but to date has not been tested beyond a mile. Grantham is confident the gelding has the maturity to handle an increased journey in the Strickland Stakes.
“I think he will be ok,” Grantham said. “Last prep I definitely would have said no because we had a few tractability problems with him, he was over racing a little bit.
“But Chris (Parnham) was happy with the way he settled the other day and was nursing him along. I have no problems he will run out the 2000m, I just hope it’s a genuine sort of speed race. If that’s the case he can settle where he wants and hopefully get the same result.”
Grantham said Devoted was in the paddock after his Belmont Guineas victory and would be aimed at the Ascot carnival later this year. The Xtravagant (NZ) three-year-old enjoyed a flawless winter campaign, remaining undefeated in three starts since joining Grantham’s stable.