In-form mare Pilly’s Wish holds a dual nomination for Caulfield Racecourse this weekend, but local trainer Mick Price believes she is more likely to run in a handicap for fillies and mares instead of taking on black-type company in the 2015 Bletchingly Stakes.
The $150,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) is the final Group race of the season and there are 15 nominations for the weight-for-age sprint including Wez Hunter’s Group 1 winner Smokin’ Joey and dual elite level runner-up Lord Of The Sky.
Also among the early entries is Price’s four-year-old daughter of Bel Esprit, Pilly’s Wish who is also nominated for an $80,000 Fillies and Mares Handicap (1200m) on the Bletchingly Stakes Day card.
A winner of four of her 15 career starts to date, Pilly’s Wish has run top two in her four most recent runs dating back to last November and has a solid record over the 1200m (4-1-1-2).
She has had just the one previous run at Caulfield when last start on July 4 she won a mares handicap over the same distance as both the Saturday showdowns she holds an entry for, jockey Dwayne Dunn guiding her to a quarter length victory over Elle Excite.
While Pilly’s Wish is in top form Price, who credits her improvement on the Coronet Bay beach environment in south-east Melbourne, is leaning towards the easier assignment at Caulfield this weekend.
“She’s going fantastic down at Coronet Bay and that’s why she’s going well,” Price told AAP this week.
“She wouldn’t be going as good if she was trained in the normal environment.
“There’s a big, undulating track down there and she has a paddock during the day and is boxed at night.
“I would have four or five horses that are suited to being down there.
“That’s my beach arm and it works really well.”
Also doing work at the Coronet Bay property of fellow trainer Eric Musgrove for the Caulfield-based Price is rising six-year-old Eximius.
The Exceed And Excel gelding has had 31 starts for five wins but has been out of form this winter with two unplaced runs in the winter, the latest of which was a distant ninth to Charmed Harmony over 1400m at Caulfield on July 4.
He is nominated for an $80,000 handicap over 1800m this weekend back at the same track where he is allocated a hefty 59.5kg, which is two kilos more than the weight he carried last start.
Eximius only has winning form up to a mile and is yet to race over the 1800m, but Price isn’t ruling out his chances of a top three finish completely.
“Eximius is having his first start from Coronet Bay,” Price said.
“I’ve had him for a long time, since he was a yearling, and won $400,000 (prizemoney) with him but I thought it might have been time for a change.”
Lining up in the same race on Saturday is stablemate Onpicalo (55.5kg), a five-year-old son of Hussonet who has a solid Caulfield record (4-2-1-0) but needs a wet track.
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