iskander

Pride's mares to fire first-up


Joe Pride knew from experience not to expect too much last weekend, but it is a different story heading into Saturday’s Rosehill meeting.

Pride is set to unleash sprinting mares De Lightning Ridge and Patronyme in the Listed Sheraco Stakes (1100m) and Group Three Concorde Stakes (1100m) respectively, and says he’ll be disappointed if they don’t continue their excellent first-up form.

Unlike Sacred Choice and Neeson, who finished third and fifth first-up in last week’s Show County Quality, the two mares are proven fresh with Patronyme unbeaten in four starts first-up while De Lightning Ridge has won two from four when resuming.

“The two last week aren’t first-up horses whereas these two are, so there’s a bit more expectation on these two,” Pride said.

The Concorde will be the first time Pride has kicked off Patronyme’s campaign in Group company against open class sprinters but he’s confident she can handle that step up.

“It looks the right race for her to try and prove that,” he said.

“She’s very attractively weighted (on 53.5kg) – she’ll be really hard to beat.

“She races on-pace, she puts herself in the right position and she’s got a good record for a reason.”

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Following her two stakes wins during the autumn in the Listed Triscay Stakes and Group Three Birthday Card Stakes, Patronyme was given her chance in Group One company.

The mare finished less than three lengths behind Melito when fifth in the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.

Pride said the six-year-old had at least maintained that level heading into the spring and believes there could be a good race in her if she can improve again.

A possible crack at a Flemington straight six race this preparation is being considered, with the Group Two Salinger Stakes on Derby Day an option.

De Lightning Ridge, winner of the Group Two Challenge Stakes (1000m) in course record time during the autumn, will be joined by stablemate Electric Dreams in the Sheraco Stakes.

The race will also signal the return of the Gai Waterhouse-trained More Joyous.

A five-length barrier trial win at Warwick Farm recently showed De Lightning Ridge has returned in good order and Pride is hopeful the five-year-old is in for a “big preparation”.

However, with big race opportunities over her pet distances of 1000m and 1100m limited in the spring, the trainer also has one eye on next year’s autumn carnival.

“The 1100 metres (of the Sheraco) is spot-on – anything 1100 and below for her is good,” Pride said.

“She seems to have no trouble with that distance but once she gets beyond that she’s just not as good, her record shows that.”

Electric Dreams, meanwhile, has been given a six-week let-up and was rated an $18 chance on Thursday.

“It’s a bit of an acid test for Electric Dreams, up in grade, but I think she’s done really well and this is the time to attack that,” Pride said.

More Joyous heads the betting at $2.30 with Sister Madly next at $5 ahead of De Lightning Ridge ($6).