Pride has vision of Cox Plate
Joe Pride is looking to history as a pointer to Vision And Power’s chances of winning the Cox Plate later this year.
Vision And Power is back in work at Pride’s Warwick Farm stable after a short break following his outstanding autumn campaign which has fuelled Pride’s ambitions to win Australia’s weight-for-age championship.
“I’m clinging to the fact the only race he won in Melbourne before he came to me was at Moonee Valley,” Pride said.
Vision And Power was originally trained by Robert Smerdon but struggled to live up to his potential and owner Nick Moraitis sent him to Sydney hoping a change of environment would turn things around.
This year, the six-year-old graduated from being a handy Saturday horse to a dual Group One winner with victories in the George Ryder Stakes and Doncaster Mile.
Black Piranha finished second in both races and cemented the form when he took out Queensland’s premier race, the Stradbroke Handicap.
At his last autumn start on April 25, Vision And Power finished fifth in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, just a length from the winner Pompeii Ruler.
“He had a short break and has been back in the stable for two weeks,” Pride said.
“He is very well and I’m looking forward to the spring.”
After learning his craft under John Size, Pride struck out on his own when his tutor went to Hong Kong.
He set up at Warwick Farm then moved to Randwick a few years ago.
When the Randwick trainers were forced to relocate last July to accommodate World Youth Day, Pride decided to stay in the more rural environment at Warwick Farm in south western Sydney.
“I enjoy it at Warwick Farm and I think it’s a better environment for my horses and suits my style of training,” he said.
Vision And Power has won 10 of his 45 starts with champion jockey Jim Cassidy aboard for seven of those victories.
Cassidy is currently on an overseas holiday nursing a sore shoulder suffered in an incident in the Queensland Derby.
Moraitis and Cassidy have had a long association going back more than a decade and the deeds of Might And Power which include the 1997 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and the Cox Plate a year later.
Cassidy expects to be fit and well for the start of the new season in August.
By Caryl Williamson