Trainer Robbie Griffiths has been pleased with the form and class displayed by three-year-old Pride Rock in recent weeks and is confident the filly is ready to shine in Saturday’s Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville.
Pride Rock debuted to racing over the 2014/14 summer; finishing fourth in the Kilmore Florist Maiden Plate (1107m) first-up before charging home to win the Christmas Parties @ Silks Maiden (1100m) a fortnight later.
Unlucky to be blocked for a run late and third in the Mistable BM64 (1200m) on December 10th, the daughter of Fastnet Rock returned to the paddock after taking out the talent-rich Riverside BM70 (1200m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day.
Having failed to beat a single runner home a minor over 1008m first-up on July 9th, Griffiths is confident the three-year-old has taken huge benefit from the hit-out and believes that Pride Rock, rather than stable mate and fellow Lightning Stakes acceptor Down The Hatch figures as his best chance for success at Morphettville.
“Both fillies are going into this race off disappointing runs but they both had excuses,” Griffiths told The Advertiser.
“There’s not much between them on a level playing field. Pride Rock is probably stronger at the finish.
“I’d have top favour Pride Rock based on barrier draws. It’s hard work for Down The Hatch from barrier 14.
“Under the structure of these kinds of races with set weights, I think barrier draws are crucial.
“I do know they’ve got the talent to be top-three chances. It’s just a matter of who gets the right run and, looking at it, it looks more likely to be Pride Rock than Down The Hatch.
“Pride Rock was disappointing first-up but she had an injury where she strained some muscles in her rump and was lame behind after the race.
“If we take that out of the equation and hope we see the best of her, her trackwork certainly indicates she can be competitive. Her Flemington win was very good.”
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Lightning Stakes odds, for which Pride Rock can be taken at a quote of $12 for success and Down The Hatch a particularly generous $17.