Spriggs upbeat about Exalted Warrior's chances


Blake Spriggs' mid-morning gym sessio  on Friday helped sharpen his mind more than his body - and it filled him with plenty of confidence before Kembla Grange's first two-year-old race of the season.

A quick sweat with one of Gai Waterhouse's regular trackwork riders Chris Hargreave has Spriggs gushing about the prospects of racing's first lady unveiling another smart juvenile.

Spriggs will partner impressive trial winner Exalted Warrior, while Frenchman Thomas Huet will steer Waterhouse's other runner in Streefragette.

But Spriggs, flourishing after a transition into the senior riding ranks, is content to be on the $200,000 yearling as Waterhouse plots a path to the two-year-old riches.

"I just had a discussion with [Hargreave] about him," Spriggs said. "I know the stable is really confident with him.

"Obviously by O'Reilly he's going to be looking for a bit of further ground eventually, but the stable think he's sharp enough to win first up. They've only given him one trial to keep fresh and he's shown a bit of ability. They're very confident with him first up."

Exalted Warrior coasted to a trial win earlier this month and will likely head betting for a race where Chris Waller, Peter Moody and Gerald Ryan have all entered runners.

The 1000-metre scamper isn't exactly what you associate with the progeny of O'Reilly, known for their ability to run a trip, but Spriggs is confident the Waterhouse polish will rub off on Exalted Warrior.

"You go out and ride for her and you know the horse is going to know exactly what to do," Spriggs said.

"They're going to jump and get running, they're going to have a lot of fitness and she's trained a lot of muscle into them. You know they're going to be strong to the line and it's going to take a good horse to beat them, especially at the provincials.

"He should be right up there and with Gai's class it should be enough to get him over the line."

Exalted Warrior shares some of the same connections as Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.

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