Ric McMahon believes the BTC Cup is an ideal target for Better Than Ready after his impressive win in the Mick Dittman Plate (1000m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Having his first start since a creditable fifth in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington on March 9, Better Than Ready ($1.60 fav) surged past Rocky King ($9) to win by 1-1/4 lengths.
"I think he's a bit better than three-year-old company and he'll get in well under the weight-for-age scale against the older horses in the BTC Cup," McMahon said.
"With Black Caviar not coming it opens everything up and he's only going to be better for that run."
Trainer Kelly Schweida said Better Than Ready will have his next start in the Group One BTC Cup (1200m) at Eagle Farm on May 11.
"He's got to lift a fair bit on that run today but if he can run well in a race like the BTC Cup it will give us a good guide to the races later on in the carnival," Schweida said.
"His win today was good without being overly impressive but he'll take a lot of improvement out of the run."
Schweida admitted he was concerned when the colt was conceding Rocky King a healthy start approaching the home turn.
"It's always hard to win those 1000-metre races when they're chasing all the way but he got away with it," he said.
McMahon admitted he might've had ridden Better Than Ready too confidently.
"Halfway down the straight they were a few lengths in front of me and I had some work to do but in the end he was too good for them," he said.
McMahon agreed with Schweida's assessment that Better Than Ready will be better suited in longer races.
"When he gets over 1200 metres he travels a lot better and he can produce a much better turn of foot," he said.