Jockey Ben Kennedy is confident of landing his first feature winner in 3 1/2 years when he pilots Proceedwithcaution in the $100,000 Belmont Classic (2200m) on Saturday.
Arguably the most in-form jockey in WA in the past month, Kennedy is chasing his second black-type victory after claiming the 2011 Gimcrack Stakes on Flying Affair.
Proceedwithcaution is the new nominal favourite for the Belmont Classic after top filly Tick Tick Bloom was ruled out with a hoof bruise.
Kennedy rode Proceedwithcaution for the first time in last Saturday week's Dayana Plate (2000m), guiding the son of Trade Fair to a dominant 2½-length win over Shalo.
Kennedy is adamant the Darren McAuliffe-trained gelding will run out the 2200m of the Belmont Classic strongly.
"I don't think he'll have a problem with the distance, as long as he settles," Kennedy said.
"He's pretty versatile. He doesn't have to sit on the speed like he did the other day. He's won coming from last before."
Proceedwithcaution has drawn barrier seven in the field of 10.
A win in the Belmont Classic would also be timely for Kennedy as he prepares for a holiday in Europe next month.
"Everyone is telling me I'm crazy going away while I'm in good form, but I've had it booked for six months and I've got to do it while I'm still young," Kennedy said.
Kennedy's brother, Alan, is hoping to make a comeback to the saddle after a stint training gallopers. "He's applied for his jockey licence and he's been working out with me to get his weight down," Ben Kennedy said.
Meanwhile, trainer David Harrison continued his good run when Kaapander bravely won the Westspeed Nursery (1300m) at Belmont Park yesterday.
After working hard to cross to the lead from a wide barrier, Kaapander ($3 favourite) looked in trouble in the straight when challenged by The High Road ($11). But the McFlirt two-year-old fought strongly to score by a long head.
"I think you'll find he'll get over a mile later on and he'll be better chasing," Harrison said of Kaapander.
Harrison scored a double at Belmont last Saturday.
Meanwhile, leading apprentice Ben Paterson outrode his claim when scoring his 80th city win, on Satellite City, yesterday.
·The Malayan Racing Association has applied Shane Edwards' three-year disqualification handed down by Racing and Wagering WA stewards.