“I wouldn’t say he’s weak but he’s certainly going to get stronger as he matures,” Moreira said. “To me, he’s strong enough to be winning the races he’s in at the moment. Once he wins, obviously he’s going to have to go on another step in physical improvement, as well as mental. But he is a very nice horse. I still have faith that, in time, he will go high in the ratings.
“Now, even if the gate is a bit tricky (eight), I do believe he’s capable,” he added.
So, meanwhile, believes Master Albert is in good heart for his third outing this term, and, while acknowledging the chestnut is taking longer to notch a first win than had been hoped, the trainer echoed Moreira’s sentiments about the maturity of a horse that only made his race debut in June.
“He’s in good condition,” the trainer said. “We expected him to be a good horse but his last two runs have been a bit disappointing. He’s still a young horse though and he seems to need more experience.
“Maybe the expectations were too high but I still think he’s useful. Sometimes, horses show their ability in their track work and in barrier trials but they just take some time to learn about racing. He’s only had four starts, he still has to learn, and, first time at Happy Valley last time, I think he still ran ok.”
The 12-runner field also features the Paul O’Sullivan-trained Harbour Alert (131lb), runner-up at his last two starts, as well as the top-weighted course and distance winners Flying Tourbillon (133lb), Perpetual Joyance (133lb) and Fantastic Feeling (133lb).