By Ray Hickson
Joe Pride is a little taken aback by the interest in his youngster Paper Daisy ahead of Saturday’s $2m Inglis Millennium (1100m) but says she’s not out of place in the rich two-year-old feature.
Paper Daisy made a noteworthy debut at Kembla Grange last month beating older horses in a 1000m maiden and she did it in the style of a promising horse.
While odds-on favourite Profiteer casts a shadow over the race on paper, Pride said the filly has given him every reason to want to take him on and no reason to want to dodge the colt.
“She’s a really nice filly, she’s getting plenty of attention this week for a 20/1 pop,’’ he said.
“She’s stood up to a preparation, she’s doing really well so I have no hesitation in putting her in a race and that’s my philosophy with two-year-olds.
“I think she’s right in that race but I’m a bit biased, she’s my filly. I genuinely think she is going to run well.
“I find it hard to line her up particularly against Mick Price’s horse who looks exciting. Everyone wants to tell you how good he is and you can’t ignore that.”
The Press Statement filly was a $145,000 purchase and the races in the well known Laurel Oak colours carried by Kosciuszko winner Handle The Truth. Sam Clipperton rides her on Saturday.
As Pride alluded, Paper Daisy is a $23 chance with TAB in the Inglis Millennium and he was rapt to see her draw alongside the favourite which should afford her every chance.
In taking her to Kembla for her debut, instead of the two-year-old race at Randwick on the same day, the Warwick Farm trainer said it was the soft option and as impressive as Stay Inside was in winning in town he’s confident she would have measured up.
“As it turns out I’d say she probably runs top three in that Randwick race but I don’t know it’s a bit hard to line up,’’ he said.
“I’m a big one for taking the softer option with younger horses, I took it there but obviously Saturday is not a soft option.
“But she’s thrived since and she is up to better company. She trialled with good speed and showed more of that on debut but it was nice to take a trail and know she can do that.”
Of course Pride is known for taking his time with young horses but if Paper Daisy was to cause an upset or run a big race could she be a Golden Slipper contender?
“I’m a bit reluctant to predict because she could be in the paddock after Saturday,’’ he said.
“But she is coping well and not showing signs she’s had enough. If they are going well as trainers we tend not to put them in the paddock, they are a long time getting fit and a long time in the paddock.’’
Consistent four-year-old Derbari backs up in the Agency Real Estate Handicap (1600m) after a game second behind Shaik at Rosehill last weekend.
Paper Daisy wins at Kembla Grange on January 23
Pride said Derbari ($9 with TAB) is still a horse on the way up and may give him a short break beyond Saturday’s race but is looking forward to seeing him get back out to a mile.
“I thought Saturday’s race was a nice opportunity to have him a length or two further back than he’s been,’’ he said.
“In some of the small fields he’s been in he’s ended up a little too close to the speed for mine and it dulls his finish.”
Speedster Royal Witness is back from a short break and wears blinkers in the Heineken Handicap (1000m) though faces a formidable rival in boom filly Written Beauty.
“He probably has his work cut out beating the filly of Hawkes’ but he’s a super reliable commodity and he will run up to his normal good standard,’’ he said.