Pride for Dubai To Sydney
Popular owner Nick Moraitis is banking on Joe Pride working some familiar magic with enigmatic gelding Dubai To Sydney who will resume for his new trainer at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Pride has earned a reputation for being able to rejuvenate the flagging careers of tried horses with dual Group One winner Vision And Power and Saturday’s Hill Stakes winner Miss Marielle among his star pupils.
Moraitis also races Vision And Power who had not won a race for almost three years before being transferred to Pride at the end of 2007.
He has since posted nine victories, two at the highest level, and Pride has no doubt Moraitis is hoping for more of the same with Dubai To Sydney.
"I think that’s the plan," Pride said.
Dubai To Sydney was competitive with the best of his generation as a two-year-old when he was prepared by John Hawkes.
He finished second to Sebring in the 2008 Breeders Plate, third to All American in the Skyline Stakes and filled the same placing in the Pago Pago Stakes won by Sidereus.
However, the gelding has failed to recapture that form in eight subsequent starts.
He will resume for Pride in the Freeway’s Great Steaks Hcp (1250m) at Canterbury and while the Warwick Farm trainer is cautious about juvenile form he says the conditions are ripe for Dubai To Sydney to give the race a shake.
"His good form is as a two-year-old and that doesn’t always mean they’re going to be good as an older horse," Pride said.
"They can be good two-year-olds because they are precocious but that doesn’t continue when they are four or five.
"But he’s down in the ratings and almost back to square one.
"I’m very hopeful of at least getting a couple of city wins out of him."
Pride has also paid up for undefeated gelding Buona Fortuna who is raced by Carmel Size, the wife of Pride’s mentor and now Hong Kong-based trainer John Size.
However, Buona Fortuna is unlikely to run after being given 58kg in the Freeways Hot Fridays Hcp (1100m).
"He looks quite a promising horse but at this stage I doubt he will go around," Pride said.
"He seems to be paying the price for a couple of provincial wins and with 58 kilos against horses like Gangitano and Lighthorseman, I’m not sure he’s well placed."
The Gary Portelli-trained Lighthorseman underwent throat surgery in March then had another setback as he was being prepared for his return in July when he was struck down by a throat infection.
He had to be treated with penicillin, delaying his comeback.
A $900,000 yearling purchase, Lighthorseman is by Redoute’s Choice and Portelli has always held a high opinion of the four-year-old.
He has had just four starts for a win over subsequent Ramornie Handicap victor Battlefield at Hawkesbury in January.
By Mandy Cottell