Chris Waller has urged punters to forget the last campaign of Pressday as the four year old prepares to resume in the 1100m Starlight Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
Pressday looked a like a potential star as a juvenile when he won the Group One TJ Smith at Eagle Farm before taking out the Sandown Guineas towards the end of last spring, however nothing went right for the son of Domesday in the Sydney autumn.
Pressday disappointed in the Sovereign Stakes, the Hobartville and the Warwick Farm Guineas, before he was scratched from his ultimate goal, the Rosehill Guineas. However Waller said he thought those results were not a true reflection of the horse’s ability.
“Last preparation was a disaster. He drew wide barriers and as a result he over raced and like a typical colt he lost all confidence,” Waller said.
“Saturday will be a good starting point, they should go hard enough over the 1100m so he can settle and get into a nice racing pattern.”
Waller has readied Pressday for Saturday’s race with two barrier trials, and despite not being at full fitness, he managed to finish a close second behind stable mate Snow Alert at his most recent hit out.
“Whatever he does on Saturday, he will improve on and that will give us a good guide as to where we should be heading with him,” Waller said.
Pressday has been nominated for the Cox Plate and the Caulfield Cup, however Waller said he wanted to see the horse prove himself in Sydney before he went to the expense and hassle of taking him to Melbourne.
“We’ll worry about races like the Epsom before we look at Melbourne,” he said.
“We’ll aim as high as we can but we’ll be as realistic as we can. If we get him back to his best he’s capable of running in some big races.”
Pressday will be ridden by Hugh Bowman, who should be full of confidence following his successful riding stint in the UK. He will jump from barrier three and carry 56.5kg, which is well short of top weight Atomic Force who will be forced to lug 60.5kg.
Saturday represents Pressday’s first start for new owners Eliza Park Stud, who earlier this year purchased the horse with the intention of standing him at their Victorian stud property at the end of his racing career.
Waller will also saddle up Syreon in the Starlight, with the eight year old coming off a highly successful autumn carnival.
Syreon had long been considered an also-ran around Sydney, however he proved his class in the autumn by winning the Group Three Queens Cup and running a close fourth in the Group One Doncaster. Syreon will again be ridden by Glyn Schofield.
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