iskander

Sprint stars force Pressday rethink


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The strength of Australia’s sprinting ranks is likely to force a rethink of Group One winner Pressday’s autumn preparation.

The three-year-old will take his place in Saturday’s Group Two Sandown Guineas (1600m) in his second spring appearance after losing all hope of victory when he reared at the start in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on Victoria Derby Day.

Trainer Chris Waller had planned on just a one-run Group One mission this spring before sending the colt to the paddock with the major autumn sprints in mind.

However, results this spring with Black Caviar dominating and Hay List showing his talent have Waller reconsidering and Pressday will try and salvage something from his spring in Saturday’s 1600m three-year-old feature at Sandown.

“Our spring plan was only to win the Coolmore and then get ready for the sprint races in the summer which come up very quickly,” Waller said.

“I think there’s a good bunch of sprinters around at the moment and since the results of the spring carnival came through it’s probably pushing us more towards the Randwick Guineas and Doncaster-type races in the autumn with him now.

“With that in mind I don’t have a problem going an extra two weeks and running him over a mile on Saturday.”

Pressday, who finished 11th in the Coolmore Stud Stakes won by Star Witness, was given an unofficial trial at Caulfield last Wednesday which has aided the colt’s fitness ahead of the Sandown meeting.

“It’s probably not ideal just in the fact that he’s going from 1200 metres up to a mile but nothing has gone wrong apart from missing the start (in the Coolmore),” Waller said.

“He’s fine, we actually gave him a trial at Caulfield last Wednesday just to make sure he jumps properly.

“(Caulfield trainers) Peter Moody, Mick Price and Clinton McDonald went out of their way to make it happen.

“He jumped really well so we’re confident we’ve got that right, and obviously that would have helped his fitness as well.”

Pressday, to be ridden by Nash Rawiller, had a memorable Brisbane winter campaign earlier this year winning three straight races culminating in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm.

“The big thing in his favour is that he’s won a Group One over a mile so it’s not as if we’re racing over the distance for the first time,” Waller said.

“So I’m sure he’ll be fine.”