Sydney’s Joe Pride is confident his in-form galloper Rock Sturdy is set for a big Group 1 run this weekend in Brisbane’s latest Group 1, the Doomben 10,000 2015.
The weight-for-age $750,000 Group 1 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10,000 (1350m) attracted 22 nominations, the favourite of which through Ladbrokes.com.au is the Ciaron Maher-trained Srikandi.
Third in last year’s Stradbroke Handicap before coming back to win the Victory Stakes on the Gold Coast and then run eighth in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m), the four-year-old daughter of Dubawi is out to atone for her luckless last start effort and pays $6.50 to do so.
A little further down the futures Doomben 10,000 betting markets at $13 is Pride’s chance at Doomben 10,000 glory Rock Sturdy who was last seen running second to Charlie Boy in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 9.
Winner of the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in late September last year, Rock Study is now set to return to the track for the Group 1 this weekend and Pride is quietly confident he can step up.
The horse was one-time favourite for the Epsom Handicap last year before the Gooree-owned galloper had to be withdrawn from the mile feature a week out.
It’s been seven long months between then and his chance at elite level success on Saturday and Pride is hoping finally the timing is right.
“Unfortunately, with this horse, I’ve never been able to take him to that level,” Pride told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“He’s never got far into a prep that we’ve gone to a Group 1 race with him, but he’s always given the indication that he’s on his way there.
“It’s an important run for him in the lead-up to the Stradbroke as I need to see him put two good runs together and then that will give us some confidence going into the big one.”
The $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1200m) runs at Doomben on June 6 and currently Rock Study pays $13 in those futures markets at Ladbrokes as well.
For Saturday’s 10,000 the horses that ran in the traditional lead-up race, the BTC Cup, are dominating the markets and Pride admits they are the form horses to beat.
“I don’t know if I’m confident we’ve got the measure of [the BTC Cup graduates], but I’m happy to be competing against them at this stage,” Pride said.
“Full credit to Charlie Boy [in the BRC Sprint], but if you swap the barriers you swap the results. I think my horse was a better run than [Charlie Boy’s], but we’ll find out on Saturday I suppose.
“It’s the run between now and next start he had to have if we are to go all the way to the Stradbroke.
“That’s not underestimating his chances on Saturday, but it is weight-for-age and I think he will be a lot better suited in a handicap. I think he will run a big race because he is in great order.”
The 2015 Doomben 10,000 final acceptances are due out on Wednesday morning and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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