Four Leaf Riot (Image: Racing Photos)
Scott Cameron's promising three-year-old Four Leaf Riot will be out to make it back-to-back wins on Saturday when he contests the VRC Member Brian Lindsay Trophy over 1400m at Flemington.
The son of Shamus Award was a dominant winner on debut, demolishing his rivals by eight lengths in a 1200-metre maiden at Kilmore, with Cameron pointing out that he had to overcome a bit of adversity on that occasion.
"He had a few things against him that day; he drew the outside barrier, 1200m, first start, at Kilmore on a Heavy 8 or 9, so he had a few things against him," Cameron said.
"Even in the run, they made him work to get across and even (jockey) Fred (Kersley) probably let him a stride a bit more than you'd want to, but he was still strong through the line, so yeah it was really impressive."
Despite the authority of that win, Cameron says that the signs weren't exactly there that he would put in a performance like that at his first trip to the races.
"He never really showed us much at all," he said.
"He's always been a bit of a kid, just real playful, just enjoys life and he never really gave us a great feel, he was just pretty plain in his trackwork.
"He did trial at Werribee against some decent horses like Ranting and trialed really nice, but still was very green.
"That was the first time that he ever showed us (potential), and then even his main gallop before he went to the races, it was ok without being anything flash."
Four Leaf Riot will now need to take the step up to city class company on the weekend, but the recent signs from his trackwork have been positive this time around.
"I think he's improved a lot from that run," his trainer said.
"He's come on mentally, he's really switched on in his work now. Fred galloped him last Saturday morning and couldn't believe how much improvement he's made since Kilmore, and since riding him before that race.
"I galloped him myself on Tuesday morning and he gave me a decent feel and actually felt like a proper racehorse now."
On Saturday, Kersley will once again be in the saddle on Four Leaf Riot, who has been allocated barrier nine in a capacity field of 16.
"As long as he jumps well, we'll roll forward," Cameron said.
"(We) don't have to lead, if something wants to go silly or wants to go take up the front, roll along, we're happy to take a sit, just wherever the horse is happy, and comfortable, and travelling.
"I don't think he's one-dimensional, but he does jump into the bit and travels strong, so he'll be in the first four, I'd imagine."
Cameron manages a stable of 16 horses at Flemington and admits that the past couple of months have been on the quieter side, but he's optimistic about what lies ahead for his team.
"Being a small stable, you have your good little runs and then you've gotta wait a while until it picks back up again," he said.
"The horses are running well at the moment, they've been running well without winning, but I think there's a few there that are starting to step up, couple of young ones who are showing nice ability, so I think we're going to have a couple of good months of getting a couple of winners, hopefully."