Sydney’s Joe Pride is thrilled to welcome back into work his reigning Darley Classic winner Terravista who will again be aimed at the Group 1 Flemington sprint on Emirates Stakes Day this Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Last spring the Captain Rio gelding enjoyed a neck win over super sprinters Chautauqua (2nd) and Lankan Rupee (3rd) to win the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m), a race Pride has the rising six-year-old earmarked for again in 2015.
The last dual Darley Classic winner was the mighty mare Black Caviar (2010-11), a feat Pride is hoping his galloper can repeat this season despite not having won a race since his first in the elite level last November.
After the Darley Classic triumph Terravista was sent for a spell before returning in the autumn to run third first-up to Chris Waller’s star three-year-old Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and third again this time to Chautauqua in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
His latest run was then a disappointing 12th when beating home just one other runner back at Royal Randwick on April 18 in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) won by the now retired Dissident.
Pride is willing to forgive and forget the All Aged Stakes failure of Terravista who he hopes will be back to his best upon his spring return this campaign, the $1.48 million earner coming back into work on Monday at Warwick Farm.
“He had a significant break, a good two-month break, which I think was important,” Pride told Racing Ahead.
“As these good horses do, they roll from carnival to carnival for a couple of seasons and it takes its toll.
“We saw last preparation even though he clearly wasn’t at his best he still managed to run a couple of Group 1 placings, but he wasn’t where he should have been.
“He’s lightly-raced, there’s good reason to think we haven’t seen the best of him yet, so it’s pretty exciting stuff (to have him back).”
All efforts will go towards having Terravista peaking for the Darley Classic title defense, the sprint classic run this year on November 7.
Firstly though the horse will kick off in Sydney with confirmed runs in Randwick’s $200,000 Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) on George Main Stakes Day, September 19, and the $200,000 Group 2 Premier Stakes (1200m) back at the same track on October 3 – Epsom Handicap Day.
“I just want to get him ready for one or two runs here in Sydney, The Shorts and the Premier or one or the other of those races, and then bring him down,” Pride said.
“I only ever give him light preparations, so we’ll do similar to last year and run him in the race at the Valley (Manikato Stakes) and then down the straight again.”
Last year Terravista finished a half-length away fifth behind Lankan Rupee in a blanket finish in the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m), the Moonee Valley sprint feature running on Friday October 23 this season.
There’s also a chance Terravista will make his international debut at the end of the year with Pride also looking at early plans to target the Hong Kong Sprint or Singapore’s International Sprint at Kranji Racecourse.
Pride could also set Terravista’s half-brother Ball Of Muscle for the Darley Classic if the Dubawi four-year-old performs well earlier during the spring.
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