After winning the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on Saturday, speculation surrounding Terravista’s first start in the autumn has already begun.
However trainer Joe Pride quickly put any dispute between Sydney and Melbourne to bed with the news his gelding would likely skip the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington in February for the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1600m) at Randwick two weeks later.
Pride doesn’t want to rush the second best sprinter in the world to be ready in time for another straight-track assault too early, considering he has ambitious plans to return to Melbourne one week later on the 14th of March for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), which may be Terravista’s last time racing under handicap conditions.
“I just think I’m rushing it a little bit,” Pride told The Sydney Morning Herald about having Terravista ready for the 2015 Lightning Stakes.
“I’d be happy enough – and a lot will have to do with the timing of it – to resume in something like the Challenge and then go down and run in the Newmarket and then the TJ and maybe the All Aged. That would be four runs then he can go back in the paddock again.
“I’d love to have a go at the Newmarket being a really prestigious and rich race and probably the last time he would be able to run in a handicap.”
It was always likely that the five-year-old’s 2015 autumn campaign would revolve around the $2.5 million Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m), which was won by Lankan Rupee earlier this year, but a tilt in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) would be Terravista’s first start at a distance longer than 1200 metres since the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) back in March.
He struggled in the George Ryder, finishing 11th of 15 after coming out very wide into the first turn. Since then however, he’s been unstoppable over the shorter trip. He won three of his four starts, which culminated with his first Group One success in the 2014 Darley Classic on Saturday.
Beating home sprint stars the likes of Chautauqua, Lankan Rupee, Buffering, and Slade Power was no easy feat but Pride thinks there’s still plenty more to come from the star.
“He just gets better every preparation and you’ve only got to look at his form and he steps up quite a deal each time you bring him back,” Pride said.
“That’s got to level out at some point and he can’t keep going on like that forever, but I do believe he will be a better horse next autumn.”
Wherever Terravista ends up running during the autumn, it will definitely be a race to watch. Open your online betting account with Ladbrokes.com.au today to get in the swing before then.