|Joe Pride with his striking gelding Terravista|
(Photo courtesy of The Daily Telegraph)
Joe Pride believes the top-flight sprinters will up the ante in the 1200m $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes. The race is headlined by the return of the sprinting trio in the Pride trained Terravista, The Hawkes brother’s Chautauqua, and Mick Price’s Lankan Rupee. All three horses have battled it out before and Pride was adamant the race will be very different to the last time they met in the Newmarket Handicap.
“I think there’s going to be a pretty genuine tempo on and that will be good, that will give all the horses a chance.
“They’re all quality horses, they all want a good tempo, and that’s what we’ll get Saturday and it’s something we didn’t get in the Newmarket,” Pride said.
Terravista, currently ranked as the world’s best sprinter, has been Pride’s best asset over the last three years, amassing an incredible 9 wins from 14 starts. The five-year-old gelding ran first up last start in the Newmarket finishing a flattening third, and jockey Hugh Bowman sighted the progress that could be made in the sprinter.
“He was found out today, but he was first up, he’ll take improvement and it was a very good effort,” Bowman said.
Despite the disappointment of the Newmarket result, Bowman listed Terravista as his ‘linchpin’ for the autumn carnival and he’ll get the opportunity again, with Terravista drawn from barrier 10.
Pride is happy to have his star back in Sydney with the gelding currently unbeaten at Randwick in four starts. The trainer shares a unique relationship with his horse, alleviating him through training because of his casual approach on the training track.
“He doesn’t take it seriously at all, which I’ve learnt to work around and adjust to because I don’t like flogging horses on the track,” Pride said.
“He gets to the line, just drops a bit and is pretty much pulled up to a walk about 20 metres after the post.”
Despite being described as a “very casual track worker” by his own trainer, Terravista turns it on when it matters most, which is all Pride is concerned about.
“He gives me his best on race day, that’s part of our agreement. He does that while I leave him alone on the track, it’s part of our understanding.”
Warwick Farm-based Pride, has three horses in the open-aged sprint with Terravista being joined by stable mates Rain Affair and Tiger Tees. The race will likely be affected by wet-weather on Saturday and Pride thinks that will only enhance his horses’ chances.
“Chautauqua’s probably the least proven [in the wet], and they [Rain Affair and Tiger Tees] wouldn’t have a hope against him [Terravista] if it wasn’t in the wet, so it definitely brings them into it.”
The TJ Smith Stakes looks like it will be another hotly contested battle between the top three sprinters in Chautauqua, Terravista and Lakan Rupee who hold the first three lines of betting respectively. Gai Waterhouse’s mare Sweet Idea is considered the other best chance in the race with one of the world’s best jockey’s Joao Moreira taking up the ride.