They may be facing a notable class rise and be on a short seven day back-up but trainer Joe Pride remains confident Terravista can handle the heat in Saturday’s 2013 Festival Stakes at Rosehill Gardens.
It seems the bookies agree with the Warwick Farm horseman too as the Captain Rio four-year-old has opened top of the odds for this year’s $100,000 Listed Festival Stakes (1500m).
Set to run as Rosehill Race 6 at 4:12pm (AEST) a full field of 15 starters plus three emergencies is engaged for the Festival Stakes field 2013.
Of those it is the nicely-drawn Terravista narrowly heading the Festival Stakes betting markets at $3.30.
Due to be ridden by Glyn Schofield the lightly raced galloper lines up for their sixth career start having lost just one of their previous runs so far.
They come off three straight turf triumphs this time in, most recently saluting as the odds-on favourite at Kensington last Saturday to win a benchmark 85 over 1400m.
Now they go up to the 1500m for the first time, meet a black type field for the first time, and also back-up within a week for the first time.
Despite all the testing firsts they face this weekend Terravista still looks the horse to beat from barrier two after they pulled up well from last Saturday’s win.
“At this stage I’m more in favour of running than not,” Pride told AAP this week.
“I’m really happy with him, he’s had a great week, and on what I’ve seen so far we’ll be taking him to the races.
“What I needed to happen this week was for everything to fall into place and it has so far. It’s a long week in racing but everything, at this stage, is in place.”
While the back-up form of Terravista’s half-brother Tiger Tees is poor, Pride knows that this horse is more than capable of racing well on consecutive weekends.
“He’s (Tiger Tees) a much more high-energy horse, this bloke conserves more, leaves more in the tank and for that reason I think he’s a more likely candidate to handle runs close together – without knowing,” Pride said.
Hot on Terravista’s heels in the Festival Stakes odds at $3.70 is then another in-form galloper, White Sage ($3.70).
While Terravista came up trumps in the Festival Stakes barrier draw the narrow second elect has the far outside barrier (18 into 15) to overcome.
John O’Shea’s lovely grey Reset mare however is undefeated in her four starts to date and is out to make it five from five this weekend.
She was last seen defeating a decent field of fillies and mares over 1350m at Rosehill on November 16 where she jumped odds-on favourite for the fourth time.
Each time she’s saluted for the punters but she’ll have to improve on that to win again this Saturday as she goes up in distance, class and faces the boys in this one too.
Also her two November wins at the track have both been from inside draws, three and one respectively, and how she’ll handle the wide gate is key.
The only other single figure chance in Festival Stakes betting at $9.50 is then the Anthony Cummings-trained Strike The Stars, the Group 1 performer racing for the first time since their eighth to Boban in the Emirates Stakes over the Flemington mile on November 9.
Also in the mix at more generous prices are then the likes of John Hawks’ last start winner at the track Ninth Legion ($10), the defending Festival Stakes winner Malavio ($11), the Chris Waller-trained Said Com ($12) who was runner-up to Ninth Legion last start and their stablemate She’s Clean ($13) who ran third over 1400m at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day in a Group 3 from a wide barrier.
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