Even when Reldas was winning back-to-back city races at Sandown last preparation, trainer Robert Smerdon was convinced the horse still wasn’t living up to his potential.
It left Smerdon with no option but to geld the son of Testa Rossa before he embarked on a summer campaign.
Smerdon believes that gelding operation and also Reldas’ added maturity now he is a four-year-old has made for a more focused racehorse this time around.
That was on display when Reldas scored a six-length win second-up in a benchmark race last month at Moonee Valley and he returns to the same track on Saturday for the Sportingbet Powered by William Hill Handicap (1200m).
“We had discussed gelding him earlier but we thought he was showing promise and they wanted to just leave him entire for a while and I regretted that decision during last preparation,” Smerdon said.
“Even though he won a couple, he was a distracted horse.
“He used to try to find things to do wrong and he generally succeeded. Even though his record was OK, he’s come back a better horse.”
Reldas is the $2.10 favourite for Saturday’s race and Smerdon said the gelding has progressed well since his latest win.
Smerdon said there are no grand plans with Reldas and hopes he can work his way through the grades this campaign.
“I think it’s just about trying to win some races, try to climb through the grades and see where it takes him,” Smerdon said.
“We haven’t got any particular aim for him at this point.”