For a mid-sized stable, Joe Pride will have a big presence at Rosehill on Saturday.
Not only will the trainer saddle up seven runners across nine races, but four of them will contest feature events.
“It’s the biggest team we’ve had at the races for a while,” Pride said.
The trainer is enjoying a short break in Perth where he had hoped to target the summer carnival with Ball Of Muscle until the speedster bled in a recent barrier trial, incurring an automatic three-month ban from racing.
Plans to campaign New Tipperary in the west were also shelved when the horse’s form dropped away following his fast-finishing win in the Cameron Handicap at Newcastle in September.
New Tipperary will instead face a rematch with Pecans in the Group Three Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill, the most significant race on Saturday’s program and a traditional lead-up to next month’s Villers Stakes.
“I think getting on a track on Saturday with the sting out will help him,” Pride said.
“At his best he can win, he’s very capable. And he likes Rosehill, he’s very good there.”
While New Tipperary has been an enigma for punters, Pecans has established herself as an honest and genuine mare, finishing first or second in 11 of her 16 starts.
She resumed with a solid win in the Ladies Day Cup at Hawkesbury and Pride anticipates a similar performance in the Festival Stakes.
“The way she races is the way she trains. She’s a super consistent mare who does everything right,” Pride said.
“She will go into this and if she goes really well she might go to the Villiers, otherwise she can have a little break before the autumn.”
Pride’s feature race runners will be rounded out by stable stalwart Destiny’s Kiss in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) and My Favourite, who will continue his comeback from a suspensory injury in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m).
The sprint has also attracted two proven Group performers in Deploy and Invincible Star.
Deploy is resuming after undergoing surgery to remove bone chips while Invincible Star returns to Sydney off a mixed spring carnival campaign in Melbourne where her best effort was a fifth in the Group One Manikato Stakes.
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