Pride has vision for the spring
Vision And Power was the revelation of the autumn but can he consolidate and become one of the weight-for-age heavyweights of the spring?
Trainer Joe Pride has no doubt he will.
"I’m not sure if there is anything unexpected now," Pride said.
"He’s shown he is a genuine Group One horse so he can’t surprise us as much as he did last preparation.
"There is more pressure on him I suppose, last time in he was flying under the radar and there was never any real pressure attached to what he was doing."
The winner of the Doncaster Mile and George Ryder Stakes during the autumn, Vision And Power will make his much anticipated return in the Group Two Warwick Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
The race is set to be an intriguing affair with 16 nominations including Randwick and Rosehill Guineas winner Metal Bender, multiple Group One winner Racing To Win, comeback galloper Court Command and promising pair O’Lonhro and Dreamscape.
Pride concedes it is a tough assignment for his seven-year-old who is at his best over further than the 1400 metres of the Warwick Stakes.
But then, it took Vision And Power six attempts to post his maiden first-up victory, albeit in a restricted race at Rosehill last December.
"He has always run nice races fresh for me so I’m not expecting too much difference on Saturday," Pride said.
"In saying that, it is the hardest race he’s been in first-up.
"He will hit the line, whether he wins or not I’m not too worried.
"It is his first step on a big, long path and it’s not a bad field either."
Regular rider Jim Cassidy will reunite with Vision And Power who is being prepared for an ambitious spring.
After the Warwick Stakes he will contest the Chelmsford and George Main Stakes in Sydney before heading to Melbourne for the Caulfield Stakes and ultimately, the Cox Plate.
Vision And Power has had two barrier trials to prepare for his return, the latest at his home track of Warwick Farm on Friday when he finished last of the six runners in an 800m heat won by the speedy Gold Trail.
"They’re not a great guide, 800 metre trials for a mile (1600m) and above horse but he went really nicely," Pride said.
"Jim rode him in both and he was very pleased with the way the horse felt."
The Warwick Stakes is the feature race on what is shaping as an enthralling pipe-opener to the major spring races.
Champagne Stakes winner Onemorenomore is among the entries for the Group Three Up And Coming Stakes (1200m) for the three-year-old colts and geldings while More Joyous and Melito are scheduled to go head to head in the Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) for the fillies.
AJC Australian Derby winner Roman Emperor will resume for Bart Cummings in the Show County (1200m), the same race champion Might And Power won first-up in 1997 before going on the claim the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups later in the spring.