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Terravista is set to have his work cut out for him after trainer Joe Pride revealed the gelding will resume in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 14.
It is staggering to think that no horse has won the Newmarket Handicap first-up on the back of a spell since 1917 but if anyone can break the drought it has to be Terravista.
The five-year-old gelding was last seen in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) on November 8 where he delivered a spectacular win after charging in the last furlong. But more importantly, Terravista has a flawless fresh record.
“He’s four from four first-up and, honestly, he’s never looked like getting beaten first-up. He’s a super horse fresh, he really is,” Pride told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“I didn’t want to run in him in the Lightning, I just think it’s an extra run he doesn’t need and I think he can win the Newmarket first-up.”
Terravista won the Australian Turf Club Plate (1100m) on debut in April 2013 as well as a Benchmark 70 over 1000 metres in October that year following a six month spell. Last year the gelding won the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) first up in the autumn before going on to win the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) in the spring following just under five months in the spelling paddock.
The Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 4 is a possible second-up start for the equal-highest ranked sprinter in the world, who will then progress to the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) two weeks later at the same track.
“There won’t be anything spectacular happening until he goes off to the trials, but he’s in fantastic order and I couldn’t be happier with him,” Pride said.
“He’s bulked up, when he raced down in Melbourne I think his last start he weighed in the low 540s (kilos) but he’s 560-something now.”
Terravista could resume a number of his spring rivalries in the 2015 Newmarket Handicap with both Lankan Rupee and Chautauqua also likely to tackle the $1 million sprint race.
Lankan Rupee beat Terravista in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) after the gelding found himself severely hampered at the bend. However Terravista emerged victorious over both rivals in the Darley Classic with Chautauqua a head behind in second place while Lankan Rupee was a further one length away in third.
With nine wins from 13 starts and over $1 million in total prize money, Terravista will be one to watch this autumn.
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