By Matt Malone, The Daily Advertiser

WAGGA trainer Todd Smart is confident Art Thou Ready can stamp himself as one of Southern District’s best racehorses with victory in Tuesday’s $25,000 Ted Ryder Cup (1600m) at Murrumbidgee Turf Club.

Smart has already made a big mark on Southern District racing in a small amount of time and he hopes to continue that with another feature race win courtesy of the in-form Art Thou Ready.

Smart has got Art Thou Ready back to his best this preparation with two open class wins from four starts and the six-year-old is likely to start favourite in Tuesday’s edition of the Ted Ryder Cup.

“He should be too,” Smart said about favouritism.

“He’s going well enough.

“He’s got the in-form jockey John Kissick on board, he’s riding really well around the place and he’s the in-form horse.

“If he wins this he sort of cements his spot as one of SDRA’s better horses.”

Art Thou Ready provided Smart with his first feature race victory when he took out the Stan Sadleir Stakes (1200m) at Wagga last month.

Art Thou Ready rises two kilograms from that effort, and is drawn awkwardly in barrier 12.He then demolished his rivals in the Christmas Cup at Albury last start.

Smart is not bothered.

“The weight doesn’t really bother me because I think he’s the class horse,” he said.

“He has won in town over 1600 metres. It was at Kembla Grange but it was a city class race.

“He loves the Wagga track, as he showed in the Stan Sadleir and I don’t think the barrier is too bad.

“He’s been getting out of the gates pretty good so as long as he jumps well I think he’ll be up there somewhere.

“I’m not going to give too many instructions to John, he knows the horse back to front, I’ll leave it up to him.”

Art Thou Ready has raced four times in a month since resuming from a break and goes into today’s race on a 10-day back-up.

Smart said the horse is thriving on racing.

“He likes that, I don’t have to do too much with him,” he said.

“It’s just keeping him fresh, at John O’Shea’s it was a hard slog and he’s relishing the country at the moment.”

Smart rates the Matt Dale-trained Meticulously as Art Thou Ready’s biggest danger.

Meantime, MTC chief executive Scott Sanbrook expects racing vision to be unaffected at Tuesday’s race meeting.

A lot of technical work will take place at the track this morning to ensure TVN and Sky vision is available to punters.

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