Craig Newitt believes Samaready is on track to secure a third Group 1 triumph when the Mick Price-trained mare resumes in Saturday’s $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington, reports Racing Victoria.

Making her first race track appearance since suffering an exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage as favourite in the Manikato Stakes (1200m) in October, Newitt said the four-year-old appears to have put the setback behind her. 

“She’s going really well and her work has indicated that she’s over the mishap that she had at Moonee Valley,” Newitt said.

“I don’t think she has improved a hell of a lot, but I don’t think she needs to improve. She has only got to recapture her Moir Stakes win and whatever beats her on Saturday would have to win.

“She gets in brilliantly against this field at weight for age, she’s drawn a good gate, she should get a good smother and I think she has only got to turn up at her best and she wins.”

A dominant winner of the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) as a two-year-old, Samaready missed almost all of her three-year-old season through injury.

Resuming as a four-year-old last Spring, the daughter of More Than Ready showed she had lost none of her ability with a first up victory at Caulfield before a scintillating win in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) in which she defeated subsequent triple Group 1 winner Buffering by four lengths.

Having been aboard Samaready at all nine of her career starts, Newitt knows the mare well.

Having also ridden 2007 Lightning winner Miss Andretti in 14 of her 31 career starts, including her five Group 1 victories, it carried extra weight when Newitt said Samaready is as good as the former Australian Horse of the Year at her best.

“Miss Andretti was sound, she never had any issues,” he said. “Samready has always had issues even from her late two-year-old days.

“At their best, she’d compare with Miss Andretti. I think she’s the same sort of class.”

Newitt is also well placed to rate Samaready against one of her main rivals on Saturday having ridden Shamexpress to win the Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) last season.

Confident Samaready has Shamexpress covered for ability; Newitt said despite a 29 point difference in the official handicapper ratings he rates emerging three-year-old Bernabeu as her greatest danger.

“Both horses at their best, I think she’s a better horse than Shamexpress,” Newitt said. “But he’s always a threat down the straight because he races so well there.

“I think the horse to beat is Bernabeu, he trialled sensationally down the straight the other day.”

Drawn in barrier four, Newitt said the presence of two-year-olds Boomwaa and Bugatty should ensure a solid tempo which would likely play to Samaready’s advantage.  

“I think the only hope the two-year-olds have got of winning the race is to run the field ragged out in front with only 46kg on their back because they’re not going to be able to out-sprint these older seasoned sprinters,” he said.

“1000 metres will be good for her (Samaready) because they should run the race quickly and she’s a horse that just needs to sit back off the main speed.

“She has got a better turn of foot than any of the horses in the race which is why 1200 is her optimum distance but I can’t see kicking off at 1000 being any drama for her.”

 Samaready is currently rated the $3.80 favourite with TAB fixed odds, ahead of Snitzerland ($4), Bernabeu ($5), Shamexpress ($8) and Boomwaa ($10).

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