The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Sydney’s Joe Pride was impressed with the last start second of Craftiness behind super sprinter Our Boy Malachi at Randwick and is eager to set the four-year-old on the Stradbroke Handicap 2015 path this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
The freakishly consistent Our Boy Malachi for Team Hawkes posted his 17th win at start number 19 last weekend with another impressive victory this time in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m).
Chasing him all the way to the line and far from disgraced in second was then Pride’s Starcraft gelding Craftiness, who has won six of his eight career runs to date.
“He went terrific,” Pride told Racenet yesterday.
Both horses are now targeting Queensland’s richest race, the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben Racecourse on June 6.
Dubbed the “Rockhampton Rocket” Our Boy Malachi is now heading the pre-nomination Stradbroke Handicap betting markets at bookies around the country.
Also high up those early, all-in Stradbroke odds are William Reid Stakes winner Lucky Hussler who ran sixth in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) last time out and Craftiness who is the first of the double figure hopes in the markets.
Pride had a total of four runners in the Hall Mark Stakes, Craftiness the best over the line of the stablemates, and he was happy with the runs of all of them.
Having come through the run well, Craftiness is now set for a trip up to Queensland on the Stradbroke path.
Next start Pride is looking at an early trip to Queensland for a run in the $125,000 Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben early next month, which is run over the same track and distance as the Stradbroke.
“I have plenty of options with him,” he said.
“I am plotting a path towards the Stradbroke so he could stay here or go straight to Brisbane for the Group 3 BRC Sprint) at Doomben on May 9.”
Also Brisbane-bound for Pride and coming out of the Hall Mark is Rock Sturdy who ran a first-up eighth having last been seen winning the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last September before suffering an injury.
It had been a long time between runs for the Fastnet Rock four-year-old who Pride has tipped as the big improver out of the race heading towards a possible elite level run in the $500,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on the same day as the BRC Sprint, Doomben Cup Day.
“He didn’t like the track on Saturday but his effort was encouraging,” he said.
“He’s come through it well and I will take him to Doomben on May 9 for either the Group I BTC Cup or the BRC Sprint.”
Pride’s two other Hall Mark graduates were Target In Sight (6th) and Rain Affair (7th) who are suited to opposite track conditions.
Known for better runs on firmer ground, Group 3 winning Nadeem five-year-old Target In Sight will head towards eight the $140,000 Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) or the $140,000 Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) both run at Scone on May 16.
Rising eight-year-old Rain Affair meanwhile hasn’t won a race since August of 2013, a drought Pride hopes to break this time in as he follows the wet tracks around.
“Nothing set in stone. Basically I will go where it’s wet,” Pride said, with Rain Affair having top records on both Soft (10-7-0-0) and Heavy (4-2-1-1) tracks.
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