Melbourne horseman Mick Price is hoping for wet weather in Sydney this Saturday to confirm a 2015 Epsom Handicap bid for his progressive four-year-old Pressing.
The Sebring stallion is one of 15 final acceptors for the $1 million Group 1 The Star 150th Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick this weekend, but is not 100% confirmed to run in the mile classic.
Price also plans to accept last year’s JJ Atkins fourth placegetter in two Melbourne races across the weekend with a possible run in a Benchmark 84 Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday and the Paris Lane Stakes on Sunday at Flemington’s Turnbull Stakes Day meeting.
The Epsom Handicap however is the preferred option, with a final call to be made based on the weather in Sydney.
“I’m going to accept in the three races but we’ll seriously consider the Epsom because with the weights being raised 4kg the race might have really fallen away,” Price told Racing Victoria.
“He’s a really good wet-tracker so if Sydney is wet then that would be great.
“Obviously he’s an entire so we might be a bit ambitious and chase a Group 1 with him but we’ll just monitor the weather and work it out.”
A winner of two of his eight starts to date, Pressing hasn’t won since May last year at Caulfield with a smart three and a half-length victory in the Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes (1200m).
His latest run was at Flemington on September 12 in the Listed The Sofitel (1400m) where he ran a brave third beaten under two lengths by the winner Disposition who went on to run second in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) last weekend.
He is yet to race in Sydney and is drawn in barrier 12 of 15 for the Epsom Handicap with Glyn Schofield, who won the race aboard the Chris Waller-trained Boban (2013) two years ago, booked for the ride.
Both of his wins were on Soft tracks, while his best effort on Good going is one third from five attempts.
“He worked on the course proper at Caulfield with (stablemate) Moonovermanhattan who can be a lazy track worker but he’s really genuine and is going great,” Price added, confirming a 1500m handicap run at Moonee Valley on Friday for Toorak Handicap hope Moonovermanhattan.
The latest Epsom Handicap betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are firmly led by Waller’s last start Theo Marks Stakes winning mare Winx ($2.90) who jockey Hugh Bowman is set to take back from a wide barrier 13 draw as her trainer shoots for three consecutive wins.
Only two of her rivals are also currently under double figures in the Epsom odds with stablemate Sadler’s Lake ($8.50) in barrier three and coming off a Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) win in the wet on September 19 and Kris Lees’ dual Group 1 winning mare Lucia Valentina ($9) drawn a treat in gate four.
Pressing meanwhile is one of the genuine outsiders to score an upset Epsom Handicap result paying $41 to become the longest-priced winner since Final Fantasy did it as a 50/1 shot at Randwick’s Kensington track back in 2001.
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