Trainer Joseph Pride is happy with the form displayed by his stable’s latest acquisition Keep Cool at a Warwick Farm barrier trial, and is hopeful of a successful showing for the talented seven-year-old in this weekend’s Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).
Placing second in the particularly well-contested hit-out on Monday morning, Pride conceded that while impressive over the non-competitive format, the Hawkesbury Gold Cup poses a far-greater challenge for the High Chaparral gelding.
“I was pleased with his trial and he will go to the Hawkesbury Cup” Pride told AAP following the hit-out.
“I’m not sure how he lines up against the others. It’s new to me and him.”
Producing a strong turn of foot over the last 200 metres to finish just off the pace of well-trialled seven-year-old Letchworth, Pride is confident a favourable barrier draw will count for a lot on the firm Hawkesbury track this weekend.
Securing eight wins and fourteen places from 42 competitive race starts to date, Keep Cool formerly raced under the banner of leading Victorian trainer Danny O’Brien before being transferred to the care of Pride near the beginning of this season.
Completing a particularly strong and consistent 2012 into 2013 preparation, the gelding out of Casual Chick won three minor events over 2000 metres before overcoming poor field position to finish an unlucky fourth in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) on this weekend one year ago.
Returning to the track in similarly competitive form over spring, Keep Cool was unlucky not to break through for another race win; finishing an agonisingly close second in three of nine appearances.
While disappointing when eleventh amongst a particularly talented field in the Thomas Hanley Handicap (1600m) first-up on March 29th, Pride is confident the work and form displayed by Keep Cool over the last fortnight will place him in good stead for success in the 2014 Hawkesbury Gold Cup.
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