Expensive filly Pride and joy of the stable

Expensive yearling purchase Hades continues to please Joe Pride ahead of her debut at Randwick on Friday with the trainer excited by what he describes as the best “second-hand” horse he’s welcomed into his stable.

The Group One winning trainer admits he loves taking in horses with problems but was shocked when he got the call from Newhaven Park Stud to train the Encosta De Lago three-year-old who was originally with David Hayes.

“I couldn’t believe it, she’s a cut above anything I’ve been asked to turn around before. She was a bit of a barrier rogue and that’s probably the only way I could get my hands on a $1.5 million yearling but she’s here and is the best second-hand horse I’ve had in the place,” Pride said.

“I train Raise for the Kelly family (Newhaven Park) and that’s how she found her way to me. I might have got her second-hand but I’ll gladly take her, she’s a very nice filly.”

Hades is nominated for an 1150 metre fillies race at Randwick’s sunset meeting and has two barrier trial runs at Warwick Farm under her belt.

“Her trials and work have been good and she’s been good at the gates too,” Pride said.

Pride has enjoyed a great run on and off the track recently with the birth of his third child, daughter Charley, preceding winners at Canterbury on Thursday and Rosehill and Kembla Grange on Saturday.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to top the week,” Pride said.

The trainer believes having such an expensive purchase will put him in the spotlight but he’s looking forward to the challenge and the attention which lies ahead.

“We want to be recognised by the big owners and the way to do that is to race breeding stock and that’s what we’re starting to see now,” Pride said.

“I see it as a very exciting opportunity for the stable and I’m looking forward to everything that goes with training these expensive ones.”

Pride said stablemate Power To Surprise could live up to his name at Randwick in a 1300 metre rating 81 handicap.

The four-year-old’s only win from seven starts came over 1600 metres at Wyong in May but Pride is expecting a strong run second-up on Friday.

The Nick Moraitis-owned gelding was unplaced when resuming from a 21-week spell at Gosford on November 27 over 1200 metres.

“He only finished just under three lengths from them in what was a pretty pleasing effort, he’s a very nice horse,” Pride said.

“He hit a lot of wet tracks in the winter but I think he’s a horse who it will pay to follow this campaign.”

Consistent stablemate Scorched Earth gets the chance to atone for a disappointing run in the Listed Yalumba Cup at Hawkesbury on November 7 when he failed to beat a runner home.

By Russell Jackson