iskander

Crack colt set to miss Randwick feature


Chris20Waller3
Chris Waller has put Pressday on a first-up Group One mission after declaring the exciting colt an unlikely Randwick runner on Saturday.

Pressday is nominated for the Listed Governor Macquarie Cup (1200m) but Waller says the three-year-old is almost certain to miss the race and head straight into the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington a fortnight later.

The winner of four of his six starts including the Group One TJ Smith Stakes during the Brisbane winter carnival, Pressday had a solo exhibition gallop at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

“He’s got 59 kilos (on Saturday), it’s probably going to be wet, and I want to keep him sharp,” Waller said.

“I want to get him used to race conditions a bit so he had this gallop today and we’ll take him to Moonee Valley on Tuesday. That should get the butterflies out.”

The Randwick meeting will feature three Listed races including the City Tattersalls Lightning Handicap (1100m) in which the Joe Pride-trained mare De Lightning Ridge is set to return from a let-up after a disappointing first-up performance in August.

Pride will be keeping a close eye on the weather because he wants a track rated no worse than dead for the mare to take her place.

The trainer is confident De Lightning Ridge is the best horse in the race but said it was up to her to show it on race day.

“At her best she’d beat them,” Pride said.

“She’s a better horse than any horse in that race, I’ve got no doubt about that, but she’s got to run up to her best.

“That’s the thing with her, she’s a volatile horse who produces her best form when she wants to.”

De Lightning Ridge beat just one runner home first-up in the Listed Sheraco Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill in August and hasn’t raced since that failure.

Pride said the Group Two-winning sprinter was “finally” doing well after going back to the paddock for three weeks after the Sheraco.

“It’s been a long, drawn-out process just trying to get her looking good again,” Pride said.

“She didn’t spell very well during the winter and I took my chances and took her to the races (for the Sheraco) because she had trialled well.

“But I knew in the back of my mind that she hadn’t done that well.

“She’s finally dropped her coat and put on weight so I’m happy with her.”

Earlier this year De Lightning Ridge broke the long-standing 1000m track record at Randwick when she won the Group Two Challenge Stakes in 55.92 seconds.

Peter Robl is booked to partner De Lightning Ridge for the first time on Saturday.