While happy with the way his up-and-coming stayer Sense Of Occasion has come through his latest spell, Sydney horseman Joe Pride believes the Group 1 The Metropolitan 2015 could come around too soon to target this spring.
Street Sense gelding Sense Of Occasion, who turns five on the Horse’s Birthday this Saturday, has won five of his 16 starts so far including the Listed WJ McKell Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick in May.
His latest start was a brave second when just nosed out of the win by Jetset Lad in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) over 200m shorter at Doomben in early June, after which Pride sent the progressive galloper for a spell ahead of a spring return.
Run over the same track and distance as the McKell Cup, the $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) on October 3 seemingly looks a good elite level target for the local hope this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
Pride however isn’t convinced Sense Of Occasion will be ready in time for the Epsom Handicap Day classic and instead plans to take his time building him up this campaign before a trip down to Victoria for a Melbourne raid.
“I had a look at it and I’m not sure if I’ve got time to get him ready for it,” he told Racenet this week.
“I think I’d like to get him up for some 2000 metre races and then if he’s going really well then maybe take him down to Melbourne.
“I just think it could be a bit of rush trying to get him up for a Metrop.”
What the horseman is convinced about is the excellent current condition of the Group 2 runner-up who had around a month off training after his Queensland visit.
“He’s back in full swing, he only had just shy of four weeks off,” Pride said.
“He didn’t have long off but did really well in that time and to be honest at this time of year the paddock is not the place to be.
“He looks fantastic.”
The exact spring targets at home in Sydney and when he makes a raid on Melbourne may be up in the air but Pride confirmed Sense Of Occasion would at some point be donning blinkers during the carnival.
“He’s definitely built up and he’s got an exciting gear change to come – the day I put the blinkers on him I reckon we’ll really see something,” he said.
“I’ll most likely give him a trial in the middle of next month and he’s probably got another really good fresh run in him like he did last time.
“He’s a nice horse and I’ve got a massive opinion of him.”
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