By Ray Hickson
Trainer Joe Pride admits the curve ball thrown by Eduardo’s performance in the TAB Everest has left him standing on far less firm ground than he’s used to after a race.
It’s been well documented that Eduardo set the hectic speed in the Everest and folded up to beat just one home, a run that was totally out of character in his four runs for the Pride stable.
To his eye the gelding is in good order heading into the $1m Yes Yes Yes Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on Saturday but Pride said he’s having trouble assessing the run other than being prepared to strike it from his record.
“I haven’t seen anything that’s really concerning me,’’ he said.
“I hate having variables coming into the mix you don’t know how to measure. Normally if he has a run I can line it up against other runs and say how taxing it was.
“It’s not a setback, what is it? I’ll tell you after Saturday what the Everest was.
“There’s an element of risk taking him back to the races two weeks after that but I haven’t seen anything to suggest to me he’s had enough. So we’re treating it as a one off."
In the Everest, jockey Rachel King told stewards after jumping well and going forward Eduardo raced keenly and took charge of her from the 1000m and she was unable to restrain him to reduce the tempo.
Punter’s Intelligence sectional data showed Eduardo ran the first 600m in a furious 33.41, almost as fast as the winner Classique Legend ran for his last 600m.
It’s certain to be a different scenario for the seven-year-old with barrier one, a wet track and Nash Rawiller back in the saddle as he was in Eduardo’s first three runs this time in.
He’s a $7 chance with TAB and a win in the Yes Yes Yes would provide some consolation for the Everest as he’s eligible for a $750,000 bonus if he wins, plus bonuses for placing, on top of the prizemoney on offer.
Third placegetter Gytrash and fifth placed Haut Brion Her are also backing up out of the Everest.
Pride was bullish about Eduardo going into the Everest and said you only need to look back through his form to see why – he beat Flit and Imaging on a heavy track in the Group 2 Missile Stakes in August before his Everest audition in The Shorts.
“He split Bivouac and Classique Legend going into the Everest,’’ he said.
“He had the right form, he had a torrid run that day, and he’s still got the right form. He loves the wet, two from two at Rosehill, so you can make a case for him.
“If he had run well in the Everest he’d probably be favourite for this. Those things didn’t happen so we are dealing with what we’ve got.”
The Warwick Farm trainer is sweating on a scratching to get promising four-year-old stayer Stockman a berth in the $7.5m Iron Jack Golden Eagle (1500m).
Eduardo runs second in the Shorts on September 19
Given the money up for grabs he sees it as unlikely he’ll sneak into the field and the gelding is also an acceptor, alongside stablemate Kaapfever, and will run in the Quayclean Handicap (1400m) on the back of a pleasing first-up run.
He may have finished tenth over the same trip at Randwick on Everest day but he clocked the second fastest last 600m of 34.30 (0.02 outside the best) on a good surface.
Stockman is a $15 chance with TAB in the benchmark race.
“I only want to run him (in the Eagle) if it is genuinely heavy because he is a good wet tracker,’’ Pride said.
“He’s a lovely horse, I absolutely love him. I want to back him up next week over 1800m and that’s probably more his race but just on a heavy track he could pull out something a bit extra.”