When the field jumps on Saturday in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup, everything to think about for trainer Joe Pride will have been thought.
His runner Think About It will get his first chance at that level and looks to start as favourite in the A$1 million feature at Eagle Farm in Brisbane, Australia.
Currently paying +360 with Bovada, the gelded son of So You Think has won seven of his career starts and has banked $448,175 for connections.
Last start he won the Listed Takeover Target Stakes in Gosford, and the race prior saw him triumph in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup at Royal Randwick.
Both victories were under hoop Sam Clipperton, who will retain the ride, but the partnership will have to take it to another level to match the competitive field on Saturday.
It will not only mark his first shot at Group 1 level, but it will also be his first start in weight-for-age racing.
Pride understands the task at hand for his horse but was keen for a start in this leading into the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap on June 10.
“I wouldn’t say there was nowhere for him to go — he could have run in the BRC Sprint, but I wanted to give him a look at Eagle Farm before the Stradbroke,” Pride said.
“The horse has done well, I’m really happy with him, but it is an acid test for him.”
The field also consists of Rothfire, a multiple Group-company winner who has also won at Eagle Farm with a successful 2020 campaign seeing him win a Group 2 before a 3.3-length victory in the Group 1 JJ Atkins.
Trained by Rob Heathcote, he returns to racing after a freshen following a tight win in the Group 2 Victory Stakes.
Two-time international Group 1 winner A Case of You and Pride stable star Eduardo also will take their places in the field.
“It will be a fast race as Eduardo is coming up for it,” Pride said of his nine-year-old sprinter.
“He’ll run them along a bit so it will be a good opportunity for them, but Think It Over, he’s led, and he’s won, and he’s sat back, so a middle draw is nice.”
Eduardo was scratched from the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 but his trainer is confident he is not done just yet.
“Managing a horse getting towards the end of their career is difficult and you’ve got to start to pick the fights for them,” Pride said.
“The horse is great and I assured the owners I don’t want them to think I’ve lost any confidence in the horse.
“Two years ago, I would have gone around in this and gone around again in the Kingsford Smith, but now I know he hasn’t got that toughness anymore to be backing up good run after good run.”
The start in the Kingsford Smith will be Eduardo’s third run this campaign, after finishing second behind Passive Aggressive first-up in the Challenge Stakes (1000m) and then only beating one home in The Galaxy (1100m) — won by the Pride-trained Mariamia.
“I believe he’s still got the good peak run in him, but he can’t produce that all the time and that’s just a product of being a bit older,” Pride added.
“I’d love to think he could race on in the spring and maybe next autumn, but he can’t do that if I send him to every race that’s available for him.”