A tidy Rosehill Gardens win on the weekend has confirmed 2013 Grafton Cup plans for Joe Pride’s upcoming gelding Destiny’s Kiss next month.
Warwick Farm-based Pride named the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m), the Clarence River Jockey’s Club premier event to run on July 11, as an end-of-season goal for his Power Of Destiny four-year-old earlier in the month after a number of promising performances.
The galloper further enhanced their chances in the Grafton Cup on Saturday backing up from a nice second over the Randwick mile seven days earlier behind the Bede Murray-trained World Wide to win the $85,000 Sydney Banana Wholesales Handicap (2000m).
Putting one length on Ghost Protocol, Destiny’s Kiss was ridden by Christian Reith for the first time under race conditions and the horse-jockey duo, plus Pride’s decision not to fit blinkers, proved the winning combination in the open handicap clash.
“I was tempted to put the blinkers on but stepping up in distance you just have to be a little conservative and bide your time,” Pride said on Saturday.
“At the right trip today he showed he didn’t need the blinkers.”
While the Grafton Cup will be a notable class rise for the former Robert Smerdon-trained Destiny’s Kiss, Pride believes they are ready for the challenge having secured a ballot exemption for the Listed feature with their Sydney win.
“There is a Winter Cup here in a few weeks’ time and then on to Grafton because he qualified with today’s win,” he said.
The $100,000 Listed Winter Cup (2400m) runs at Warwick Farm on June 29.
Destiny’s Kiss’s only previous black type run was under their last trainer in Melbourne when they finished four lengths away sixth to Midnight Martini in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) in October last year.
Pride is also confident that going up to the 2350m for the Grafton Cup, a distance they are yet to be tested over, will suit the emerging stayer when they see the mile and a half in the Winter Stakes.
Destiny’s Kiss was an $8,000 bargain buy by well-known racehorse owner Nick Moriatis and has now won over $246,000 in prize money.
Moriatis also raced and owned Pride’s former star Carnegie gelding Vision And Power who won the 2009 George Ryder Stakes – Doncaster Mile Group 1 double having run fifth in the Grafton Cup the year before.
“I took Vision And Power up to Grafton a few years back and he came back and won a few Group Ones., Pride said.
“I am not predicting that for this horse (Destiny’s Kiss) but we will go the path to Grafton.”
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