By Ray Hickson
Joe Pride wasn’t going to let weight stand in the way of giving Eduardo his chance at a Group 1 at Rosehill on Saturday and he’s more than happy the $700,000 Bisley Workwear Galaxy (1100m) will be run on a wet track.
Eduardo produced a career best performance when he smashed the Randwick track record and outgunned Nature Strip in winning the Challenge Stakes (1000m) two weeks ago.
Such a performance is always hard to replicate at a horse’s next start, especially in a handicap with 58kg, but Pride said he’s seen no signs it has had a negative effect on the tough seven-year-old.
“He’s a very good wet tracker, I’m not disappointed it is going to be wet,’’ Pride said.
“The good thing about this horse is he goes on any conditions and maybe the heavy track will inconvenience a few of his opposition and if it does that it’s good for him.
“It’s an appropriate next step for him, trying to knock off a Group 1.
“You only need to put up a performance like he did the other day, I think he rated 104.5 from Daniel O’Sullivan and I don’t think anything else in the field is capable of that. If he repeats it good luck trying to catch him.”
The only horse to carry 58kg or more to win the Galaxy was Mr Tiz, who lumped 58.5kg back in 1991, and only two others have managed placings.
If Eduardo, $6 with TAB on Thursday, is to win the race he won’t die wondering with Pride forecasting he’ll be right in the firing line.
“He’s a very fast horse, the speed looks like its mostly outside of him and they’ll be working to cross him,’’ he said.
“We won’t just be handing up to get mud kicked in our face for nothing. The speed will be genuine or he will be leading.”
Stablemate Easy Eddie ($16) is already a Galaxy placegetter having run third in 2019 behind Nature Strip on the back of a win in the Maurice McCarten.
The gelding fell 0.2 lengths short of repeating that feat first-up last week and drops to 54kg.
“He’s repeating a pattern he did two years ago to get to this race, loves the wet and loves Rosehill and 1100m is perfect,’’ he said.
“There’s plenty in his favour and he’s not a bad second stringer to have.”
Pride’s promising three-year-old Private Eye faces his biggest test in the Listed $140,000 Irresistible Pools & Spas Darby Munro Stakes (1200m) and it might raise some eyebrows to see he hasn’t trialled recently.
Private Eye spent three weeks in the paddock after he made it five straight wins in a Benchmark 78 at Rosehill in January and was scheduled to trial on Monday but Pride made a pre-emptive move to give him a jump out three days earlier with forecast rain threatening the trial session.
“People will look at it and go it’s a long gap between runs but he’s actually had a jump out in between,’’ he said.
Eduardo wins at Randwick on March 6
“I generally don’t (use jump outs) but in this circumstance I wasn’t going to take the chance of having him go to the races without anything under his belt. He won it pretty easily and he ran a bit of time.
“He also went to the races last Saturday, I took him out and gave him a look around so he’s had a good preparation for this.”
The gelding, $3.90 with TAB on Thursday, is nominated for the Group 2 $1m Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) at Randwick on April 3 but Pride is keeping an open mind until he sees the horse return.
“He’s a nice horse, he seems a very genuine article and is very much on the way up,’’ he said.
“We’ll see how he goes at the 1200m and whether he’s looking for a bit further.
“When I get a horse that can win five out of their first six they’re usually pretty good because they don’t go to the races all tuned up. So it’s a fair indication of his ability.”