Joe Pride is convinced Craftiness can come out on top when he heads to Rosehill for his return bout with Religify, the only horse to have beaten him.
The pair will clash in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap on Saturday, almost six weeks after they ran the quinella in a midweek race at Warwick Farm.
Trained by Chris Waller, Religify edged out Craftiness that day by a neck then franked the form with a dominant victory in Saturday grade.
Craftiness has since posted a strong win at Canterbury and will enjoy a slight weight advantage on Saturday.
But Pride says natural improvement, rather than weight, will be key.
“I don’t worry too much about weights, especially over a short-course distance,” he said.
“The more significant thing about what’s happened in the past five weeks is how much improvement they’ve made.
“I think my bloke has made a heap of improvement and if Chris’s horse has done the same there won’t be much between them again.”
Craftiness has won three of his four starts and showed a good turn of foot to come from midfield at Canterbury and score.
Pride is still learning about the four-year-old, who he inherited from the late Guy Walter, but hopes he can measure up to better races in time.
“He’s too raw to get any guide on but that opens him up to a lot of improvement,” Pride said.
“I’d like to think he can hopefully make a stakes-grade horse, he looks like he could shape up that way.”
Religify is a $2.80 favourite ahead of Craftiness at $3.80 and they dominate betting with Encostanati next pick at $8.