By Ray Hickson
The scenario for honest sprinter Passage Of Time at Randwick on Saturday couldn’t be any different to what it was in his first-up assignment two weeks ago.
And trainer Joe Pride says the more favourable circumstances should lead to the six-year-old putting himself right in the finish of the Listed $140,000 Fugen Construction Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m).
In the Starlight Stakes, Passage Of Time drew barrier 12 at the 1100m at Rosehill with no blinkers and was forced to go back where he sat wide before working home strongly late to run sixth behind Spending To Win.
“It made it pretty much mission impossible but he came through it well and no harm taken from the run, he’s there to bounce back,’’ Pride said.
“The marketplace has recognised it. I’m looking forward to seeing him go around again, he’s a lovely old horse and has his share of talent.’’
In the Razor Sharp the gelding will carry blinkers, steps to 1200m and has drawn gate three and Pride expects he’ll make plenty of use of those assets.
Passage Of Time, $7 with TAB, clocked the fastest last 600m of the Starlight by almost two lengths running 33.27 (Punter’s Intelligence) in coming from last but he showed last preparation he’s a lot more comfortable on the speed.
He was an easy winner second-up earlier this year over 1250m and won back-to-back races at Rosehill in June from on the speed.
“He improves as his prep goes on, he gets his blinkers back on, it looks a nice race for him,’’ Pride said.
“He won three Saturday races last time around so I don’t think a Listed race is beyond him. He’s going to be a good winning chance.’’
Pride said he deliberately waited until the end of the spring to produce Passage Of Time with races like the Razor Sharp, which he won with News Alert in 2011, and the Christmas Classic (1200m) on Boxing Day in mind.
Slick mare Kylease bounced back to her best with a typically speedy win at Kembla Grange three weeks ago and Pride has kept her ticking over with a barrier trial win for the UNSW Handicap (1200m).
That Kembla race has proven to be a strong form reference with Handspun (2nd), Jen Rules (6th) and The Party Girl (8th) winning at their next start plus Pumpkin Pie (3rd), Lucicello (4th) and Switched (5th) placing.
“I feel like I’ve found another winnable race for her and the market tells me I’ve done that,’’ Pride said.
“She really appeals to me as a racehorse, she’s 100 per cent effort and she has great speed and tenacity on top of that.
“She can lead or sit outside the lead, she’s a very fast horse and we won’t be altering that. It’s her main piece of weaponry and we’ll be using it again.’’
There aren’t any grand plans as yet for Kylease, $2.30 favourite with TAB, but the trainer said there’s plenty of black type to be found in the autumn if she continues to work through the grades.
Passage Of Time's first-up run at Rosehill on November 30
Three-year-old Superium is Magic Millions bound if he shows the form that saw him first past the post in the Up And Coming Stakes in the spring and Pride expects a solid first-up effort in the CES Handicap (1100m).
The gelding, $4.20 favourite, was beaten half a length when resuming in August in the Rosebud over the same trip before losing the Group 3 on protest.
“I’ve been pleased with him, just had the one trial there up at Gosford, and he turns up at the races in terrific order,’’ Pride said.
“He’s a good horse on the fresh side, a good horse full stop.’’
Pride’s stable mainstay Ball Of Muscle is back in work for another autumn campaign while his Golden Eagle runner Fasika is due to return before Christmas.