His pedigree suggests Meet And Greet should handle a step up in distance at Rosehill and veteran trainer John Meagher is confident the stayer will justify the stopover en route to Melbourne.
Meet And Greet, a lightly raced four-year-old gelding, starts outside of Queensland for the first time on Saturday and also broadens his horizons to 2000-metres in the Pacific Boating Handicap.
Meagher is looking forward to Meet And Greet over longer after he won his past two starts over 1600m, and says his breeding is another positive as he takes on a field featuring a quartet of Chris Waller-trained runners.
“He’s out of a New Zealand-bred mare (She’s Neat) and I trained Tawlord, who is out of the second dam,” Meagher said.
“He’s Queensland-born but he’s out of a New Zealand family. Tawlord won a Sandown Cup (1993). If you look up the pedigree you’ll see a lot of the horses is the family stayed.
“He’ll definitely get 2000 metres.”
Meagher knows what it takes with stayers having trained the 1985 Melbourne Cup winner What A Nuisance.
Regular jockey Brad Stewart will make the trip to Sydney to ride.
“Brad rides good, and he knows him too. Barrier four is perfect. It’s a short run to the first turn and he’ll be in the first three or four, for certain.” Meagher said.
Meet And Greet was on the third line of betting with the TAB at $9.50 on Friday while the Waller-trained European import Alward led the market at $1.95.
Meagher said Meet And Greet was ready to branch out after being allowed to develop gradually by owner Neville Bell, the Brisbane Racing Club chairman.
“He’s been patiently looked after. Neville’s been very patient,” he said.
Meet And Greet will continue south to Victoria after this weekend with Meagher eyeing staying races in Melbourne.