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Trainer Joe Pride confirmed his Darley Classic champ Terravista would have a rescheduled first-up run and bypass Saturday’s 2015 The Shorts if the weather didn’t suit in Sydney.
The Captain Rio six-year-old is currently set to kick off his spring bid at Royal Randwick on George Main Stakes Day this weekend, Terravista one of 16 nominations for the $200,000 Group 2 The Shorts (1200m).
Last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival the now $1.48 million earner won The Shorts second-up before heading to Victoria for a fifth in the Manikato at Moonee Valley and a win in the $1 million Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington Racecourse during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Pride confirmed the same three races for his stable star this season, so long as conditions suited on the weekend.
If Randwick is rain-affected for the running of The Shorts, Terravista would be saved for the $200,000 Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) back at Randwick on Epsom Handicap Day, October 3.
“I’m hoping to get started (on Saturday), but I am a little worried about the weather – I won’t be running him on a heavy track first-up,” he told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“If we get the rain that they’ve predicted late in the week, we may not be able to run.
“If that’s the case, he would have another trial and then go to the Premier (Stakes) first-up.”
From there the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) under the lights on the Friday night before Cox Plate Day in late October was on the cards again followed by the horse seeking back-to-back Darley Classic crowns in early November.
“I’d love to run him in the Manikato and then the Darley,” he said of the horse who has also been nominated for the Hong Kong Sprint overseas this December.
“We’ve got to get a run or two into him in Sydney here first and that’ll be our guide, but if he comes up as expected he’ll be extremely hard to beat in Sydney.”
Supremely confident he is in charge of one of the great sprinters, Pride said there was only horse worthy of challenging Terravista in his upcoming assignments.
Pride named the Team Hawkes-trained Chautauqua as the big danger again this season, the Encosta De Lago five-year-old having kicked off his campaign with a Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) win at Moonee Valley on September 5.
“I think Chautauqua is the only horse that can go at his level – they’ve shown that,” he said.
“He’s a formidable opponent and we’d love to think we’ll be taking him on in the spring.
“I think Terravista has got a better turn of foot than Chautauqua, but Chautauqua seems able to sustain a sprint for longer and that’s what makes their clashes so good.”
Chautauqua and Terravista have met four times previously, the first being when Pride’s galloper took the honours in the Darley Classic quinella last November by a nose.
Chautauqua then ran second to Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in mid-March where Terravista finished third before another third in an April Randwick feature won by Hawkes Racing’s star – the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
Their last clash was in the all Aged Stakes where Chautauqua ran third to the since retired Dissident in a weight-for-age race Terravista finished second last in on April 18 during The Championships.
Pride is looking forward to the duo clashing again over the spring, but his immediate attention is focused on Terravista’s return on the back of two solid trials including an 802m win at Warwick Farm last Friday.
“Both trials have been exactly what we wanted to see – better than he trialled in his previous preparation, which is encouraging,” Pride said.
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