By Ray Hickson
There are two things Joe Pride has learned to expect from dual Group 3 winning mare Pecans at the start of a preparation – she never trials sensationally but always performs fresh.
And with two acceptable trials under her belt Pride is approaching the Group 3 $160,000 ICD Property Nivison (1200m) with a reasonable level of confidence.
Pecans, an ex-Godolphin mare, won the Godolphin Crown at Hawkesbury first-up last preparation.
“She’s probably not a mare that you want to take a lot of notice of her trials,’’ he said.
“Each time I’ve trialled her she’s never trialled like a horse that reflects her ability but she races at a consistent level.
“I think we’ve found the right race for her. First up on heavy tracks is never ideal but, with all respect to the opposition, it doesn’t seem as strong as years gone by.
“Last year it had Dixie Blossoms and Daysee Doom in it amongst others.’’
Pride’s confidence in Pecans, the $4.60 TAB favourite on Thursday, stems from the feedback of her track rider, multiple Group 1 winning jockey Justin Sheehan.
“My rider tells me she’s never gone better, if that’s any indication it’s all part of the equation that will make her race well,’’ he said.
A program hasn’t been locked in for Pecans as yet this spring, Pride said she may go to Melbourne but her only trip away since she’s been in his care saw her run the worst race of her career.
Pride rarely, almost never, starts a two-year-old before Christmas so that says plenty about the precocity of Absolute Control who debuts in the Forum Group Kirkham Plate (1000m).
And he warned not to underestimate the colt, an $18 chance, who he says has scope for plenty of improvement out of his latest trial, a second to Time To Reign on a heavy track.
“I’ve done the early work I generally do with these young horses and it wasn’t enough for him,’’ he said.
“We’ve watched his work buddies fall by the wayside while he keeps putting his hand up and telling me he can cope with more.
“I think he will improve more out of trials than some other stables because I leave a bit in the tank.’’
Pride takes seven horses to Randwick on Saturday including the 10-year-old warhorse Destiny’s Kiss who chases successive wins in the Listed $150,000 City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m).
Pecans runs third in a Warwick Farm trial on October 8
Here are Pride’s comments on those five horses:
Destiny’s Kiss (Race 4, $9.50): “A wet track, 2400m at Randwick is perfect for him. He missed a trial at Hawkesbury on Monday but we tried to make up for it with a gallop on Thursday. You never underestimate him.’’
Cosmologist (Race 4, $10): “A very nice horse. I think 2400m will be the last thing that will get him beaten. You don’t get many horses that you’re confident about over extra ground but you watch him work and race and he shows one tempo. He’s able to build that speed and he loves the wet.’’
Arraignment (Race 5, $10): “I’ve been pleased with what he’s been able to do on tracks when I thought maybe he’s better on top of the ground which he certainly won’t be on Saturday.’’
Fifteen Rounds (Race 6, $41): “He’s a very nice horse, he hasn’t had the blinkers on in a race yet and I feel like they are a pretty big ace up my sleeve.’’
Passage Of Time (Race 9, $14): “I had some issues with his feet and I certainly wasn’t happy with what he was doing last preparation. He likes a wet track and is a noted first-up performer but he has to find his old form.’’