TRAINER Tas Morton is adamant seasoned galloper, Mister Smartee, can go one better in Friday's Krambach Cup at Taree's Bushland Drive racetrack
The Port Macquarie galloper led last year's feature race with 100m to go, only to be run down in the final stages by Chamisal.
"The jockey most probably went a bit early on him last year and they caught him right on the line," Morton said.
"Georgie McDonnell. She got him out nicely last week and rode him well and I think with the barrier, this time he will be hard to beat."
The seven-year-old has drawn gate four in the field of eight, and after competing in the Hopkins Livemore Cup at Taree (6th beaten 2.87 lengths), the Bowraville Cup (5th beaten 6.43 lengths) and most recently the Hastings Cup at Port Macquarie (7th beaten 3.61 lengths), Morton believes Mister Smartee is primed for a big effort on Friday.
"We didn't barrier trial him or anything and just sent him around at Taree to get him fit, then at Bowraville, he drew the outside barrier, but we mainly sent him around there to get him fit for the Hastings Cup
"At Port Macquarie in the Hastings Cup, he drew the outside again and we had to use him up to get him across and he couldn't hold them out. The last 150m told on him.
"He needed the run, but he has pulled up extremely nice and I think he will run a really good race."
The Smart Missile gelding does tend to put in his best efforts further into a preparation, and Morton said with a little luck, he should be winning the $34,000 feature race.
"He is a nice mature horse now, and with the three runs under his belt, all we needed was a nice barrier, and with an ounce of luck, we should get the chocolates,' Morton said.
The 51-start veteran has been a good horse for connections, winning seven times and earning almost $200,000 in prizemoney after being gifted to Morton.
"He has been a consistent horse. He was gifted to me by Andrew Bowcock who bred him," Morton said.
"He went through the Magic Millions and was bought by Chris Waller and never passed the scope and Andrew gave him to me.
"We got him operated on and got him sorted, and after a while, I said to Andrew, 'this horse will be alright', and I gave him 20 per cent back.