By Ray Hickson
It won’t be until scratching time on Saturday that trainer Joe Pride will commit to a first-up run with unbeaten mare Fasika at Rosehill.
Pride said if the forecast is correct and Rosehill receives significant rain he’ll draw the line at a heavy 9, and have a good think on a heavy 8, in the TAB Handicap (1200m) where she was an early $4.20 equal favourite on Thursday.
Fasika does have a heavy track win against her name but Pride is thinking longer term.
“It’s not a matter of fitness, it’s what those runs do to a horse early in the prep,’’ he said.
“It’s very tough on them. It’s not worth the risk, this is not the best race she is going to run in this preparation.
“She’s in at the moment but it all depends on this weather. I wouldn’t want to run on a heavy track first-up and bust her, that’s probably the tipping point.
“I’m not wanting to run her on a 9 or a 10, I don’t know if we are going to get there but it is an ominous forecast.’’
Fasika served notice she’s a horse who would be a spring player with her narrow but impressive win in the Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) at Randwick during The Championships.
Pride said he couldn’t be happier with the four-year-old’s build up to a return and if she does take her place he expects her to be hard to beat.
“We want to see these good horses going to the races, but we have a duty of care to our horses to make sure they are around for the spring carnival,’’ he said.
“It’s a big decision come Saturday morning, I hope it is clear cut because there’s nothing worse than being in between and having to make a judgment call.
“She won first-up at 1200m last time and was really strong off the back of a couple of trials.’’
Plan B for Fasika is to barrier trial next week then resume in the Group 2 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on September 14.
As far as her spring aim is concerned, Pride isn’t putting any emphasis on the $7.5m The Golden Eagle (1500m) just yet saying it’s ‘more of a dream than an aim’.
There’s no doubts surrounding whether Monasterio will run in the Nathan’s Famous Handicap (2000m) and Pride is expecting the gelding to relish getting back onto a wet track.
Fasika runs second to Pierata in a Warwick Farm trial on August 23
Monasterio won on a heavy 9 back in June and gave a sight in front when runner-up to Ulusaba at Canterbury on August 21.
“He’s rock hard fit, he handles the wet and he’ll be running regardless,’’ he said.
“He hasn’t been far away all preparation, he’s been pretty honest. He’s picked up the one but there have been some good runs amongst them. He’s a big game sort of horse, I don’t mind him.’’
Meanwhile, Pride is going to run Superium in a 1300m Benchmark 72 race for three-year-olds at Randwick next Saturday after his stewards room defeat to True Detective in the Up & Coming Stakes.
There’s a chance he could back up in the Listed Dulcify (1500m) a week later and the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose (1400m) isn’t off the table either.
“Hopefully it will end up a bonus win, but I’m sure it won’t be a gimme, it’s nice after you put in a performance that won you a Group race to go back to a benchmark three-year-old race,’’ he said.