Highway winner up in grade but has the dash to compete

It’s hard to beat an established horse with better form unless you’re an up-and-comer with the X-factor.

And Ahead Start will need to be just that to knock off $2.90 favourite Prime Star in the Listed Inglis 3YO Guineas (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

Prime Star has only won two races from 12 starts but has placed at Group 2 level and was just 3½ lengths off Lion’s Roar in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas in the autumn.

Then there’s Ahead Start, who is coming into the race off a Class 3 Highway win.

“It wasn’t the long term project but he came through that win quite well at Randwick,” trainer Danny Williams said.

“We were going to spell him to bring him back to try to get a Kosciuszko start but he’s a wet tracker and there’s was a bit of rain about so we thought we’d give him one more run.

“These Inglis races are never as strong as a normal Group 3 race so we thought we’d have a bit of a go.”

Ahead Start is rated a $26 chance to knock off the favourite but his wins to date have been very encouraging because he’s shown a classy turn of foot.

Trainer Danny Williams. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

He was luckless for much of the Highway last start until he got clear air and he really savaged the line over 1200m.

“James (McDonald) was very impressed with him the other day and actually rang up to see where he was going next but unfortunately he couldn’t ride him at this meeting,” Williams said.

“James thought he was a bit dour and looking for further. It was also a firm track which he doesn’t like so there were a few positives to come out of it.”

Ahead Start will be ridden out of barrier nine in the 15-horse field by Jay Ford and Williams isn’t concerned about the draw on a soft track which his horse thrives on.

“If he runs well it gives us a bit more ammunition for the Kosciuszko and we won’t have to do a great lot before the race,” Williams said.

“We’re pretty grounded and we know where we are. We’re not expecting to reach the sky but he’s come on since his Randwick win and is third-up. He’s not without some hope.’’

Originally published asAhead Start can make ground on Guineas fancy

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