By Ray Hickson
Trainer Joe Pride isn’t putting any pressure on new recruit Heimberg to live up to the heights of his high class siblings but is confident he possesses some of the family’s talent.
Heimberg is the last foal of grand producing mare Parfore, who died in 2016, and therefore a half-brother to Pride’s star sprinters Terravista, Tiger Tees and Ball Of Muscle.
Gelded after one start with Murray Baker in New Zealand, Heimberg makes his debut for Pride in the Events By ATC Plate (1200m) at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
“This horse can gallop a bit, he’s quite a nice horse,’’ Pride said.
“You watch his trials and you think ‘not really’ but I think he’s going to take a little while to settle in. I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs a nice race.’’
Terravista won 11 of his 32 starts, two Group 1s and over $2.6m in prizemoney; Tiger Tees earned $1.24m in 37 starts for 13 wins including the Group 1 Galaxy while Ball Of Muscle, currently out spelling ahead of another spring preparation, is a multiple Group winner and sits on 13 wins from 39 starts and $1.6m.
If Heimberg knew all that he’d probably be a little overwhelmed.
Given his association with the family, the question asked of Pride is how will that history dictate his approach to the three-year-old?
“Maturity wise I know I have to wait for him, he’s not a very big horse,’’ he said.
“He’s probably more in the style of Tiger Tees than of Terravista or Ball Of Muscle who are big brutes. He’s by a different stallion in Rip Van Winkle and he might be able to stretch his speed to a mile.’’
Heimberg and stablemate Azoustic, who is on debut in the same race, have contested the same trials in the past month and while they are considered outsiders – Heimberg $21 and Azoustic $41 with TAB – the trainer is adamant they both have futures.
The race is stifled by the two favourites, Embracer and Front Sight so Pride is keeping his expectations in check for now.
“The Zoustar horse (Azoustic) is a bit of a raw talent and doesn’t know what he’s there for yet but he can really go,’’ he said.
“Going forward they are two nice horses who will win their share of races. I just want to see them kick off and show me in some part of their race that they know what they are there for and give me a glimpse of their ability.’’
Heimberg and Azoustic trial at Warwick Farm on May 17
It’s a day of fresh starts for the Pride stable as all four runners are newcomers of various descriptions.
Former Victorian Accelerato has impressed the Warwick Farm trainer with his recent trial win and he’s looking forward to seeing what he can do in the Winter Racing Handicap (1100m).
“He looks a fast customer, looking through his form you’d think he’ll have to do better here but our stable has a rep for doing that with horses so hopefully he’s another case in point,’’ he said.
Ex-Chris Waller stayer Monasterio might find the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1300m) a touch short but Pride has seen enough to think he can rejuvenate the five-year-old.
“I think there’s something left in the tank with him,’’ he said.
“He’s had 24 starts, if they’ve had many more starts I get a bit dubious about whether I can get much more out of them.’’