By Ray Hickson
They say a week is a long time in racing but in typical Mick Price fashion the trainer has taken it in his stride navigating the extra seven days with Golden Slipper favourite Profiteer.
A horse’s preparation can be upset by many things, a late scratching on race day for example, but it’s very rare for a Group 1 race such as the Slipper, let alone a whole meeting, to be sent back a week and it’s forced all the trainers to pivot.
As far as its effect on Profiteer, the $3.60 TAB favourite for the $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday, Price said the disruption has been minimal and if anything an improving track will be in his colt’s favour.
“You do your thing as a trainer and read your horse,’’ Price said.
“Everybody is in the same boat. He’s a two-year-old who is jumping out of his skin, he’s ready to go and ready to race well.
“We allowed for the Todman to bring him on, I’m glad we missed the Diamond. My other horses who have run places in the Golden Slipper have come through the Blue Diamond.”
Those horses are Samaready (third to Pierro in 2012) and Flying Artie (third to Capitalist in 2016).
Profiteer, of course, was a brilliant winner of the Inglis Millennium (1100m) at Randwick in February then he lost his unbeaten record with a gallant second to Anamoe in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) a month later on March 6.
The colt’s sire Capitalist was also beaten in the Todman before winning the Slipper in his year.
Price and co-trainer Michael Kent Jnr’s program for Profiteer in the past week consisted of a gallop on Sunday and another on Wednesday, under race jockey Hugh Bowman, but the latter was more a maintenance gallop than a serious workout.
“Hughie came out and rode him, I didn’t want to do too much with him because he had a nice gallop on Sunday,’’ he said.
“He’s ready to go so he only did a half mile and Hugh let him slide a furlong.
“He’s very well in himself. He’s not training off at all, he looks like he is holding his form.
“There’s only one way to tell and that’s to run them but he certainly hasn’t taken a backward step.”
Group 1 winning filly Odeum begins her Sydney campaign in the Listed $140,000 Irresistible Pools & Spas Darby Munro Stakes (1200m) and she’s in for a busy few weeks.
The Thousand Guineas winner jumps from the inside alley and given the Darby Munro is the opening race at Rosehill it’s caused a dilemma for Price and jockey Michael Walker about where she should be in the run.
“She could get beaten for a number of reasons but if you stay on the fence and get beaten you’ve got owners saying the fence was no good, why did you stay on the fence,’’ Price said.
Profiteer runs second at Randwick on March 6
“The safe thing for Walker to do is to get off the fence if he could because if all the others get off she’ll be off it as well.”
That dilemma aside, Price said he’s rapt with Odeum ($10 with TAB) who resumed with a luckless fourth over 1400m at Flemington three weeks ago.
His plan for the filly at this stage is to back up in the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) next weekend then two weeks into the Group 1 Coolmore Legacy (1600m) at Randwick.
“She’s thriving, I love how she is going,’’ he said.
“She has blinkers first time, she has won on the heavy and I think she will go very well.”