Bryan Smart is looking forward to saddling progressive sprinter Mythmaker in the £19,000 Betway Conditions Stakes (5.00pm, nine runners) at Newcastle on Thursday, January 12.
The five-furlong Tapeta contest is a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint over six furlongs on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14.
Mythmaker has so far raced exclusively over six furlongs on the All-Weather and produced a career-best when just touched off by Lord Of The Land in the Listed Betway Golden Rose Stakes, the first Fast-Track Qualifier for the Sprint Final, at Lingfield Park in November when trying to make all.
The five-year-old son of Major Cadeaux was slightly below that level on his latest start when second to Spring Loaded after making the running in a conditions race at Wolverhampton on December 26.
Smart, who is based in North Yorkshire at Hambleton, said today: “Mythmaker is fine. It is his first time over five furlongs, but it is a stiff five at Newcastle and it will be interesting to see how he gets on.
“I have been very pleased with his last couple of starts. He seems to be progressing and looks really well at the moment.
“I am not sure what we will do between now and Good Friday – with his rating (104), you would think he will get a run even if he doesn’t win on Thursday.
“He is a nice, easy horse to train and there is a nice gap between the races that suit him, which is a good thing.”
Connor Beasley, on board Mythmaker for the last two starts, takes the ride again.
Lightscameraction (Gay Kelleway/Luke Morris) is a five-furlong specialist and enjoyed a lucrative success when capturing the Three-Year-Old All-Weather Sprint on Finals Day in 2015. He has a 3lb penalty for winning a five-furlong Listed race at Lingfield Park in February.
The line-up also features another Listed scorer in Gracious John (David Evans/John Egan), who is top-rated with a rating of 110, and Justice Good (David Elsworth/Shane Kelly), winner of a six-furlong handicap at Kempton Park last time out.
Chiclet (Tracey Collins/Gary Halpin (3)), a five-time winner of the Polytack at Dundalk, flies the flag for Ireland, while Royal Birth (Stuart Williams/Aaron Jones) has his first start since finishing second in a competitive six-furlong handicap at Ascot in September.
Bowson Fred (Mick Easterby/Nathan Evans), Dougan (David Evans/Andrew Mullen) and lightly-raced five-year-old Doc Sportello (Michael Herrington/Robert Winston) compete the nine-strong field.
Newcastle’s seven-race card on Thursday, which gets underway at 2.00pm and runs through to 5pm, also includes the £45,000 sunbets.co.uk Handicap (4.30pm) over seven furlongs which has the maximum of 14 runners, with Realize (Stuart Williams/Andrew Mullen the 105-rated top-weight.
The £20,000 Betway Handicap (3.30pm), over an extended 12 furlongs, is the other feature and has eight runners.