Pride con­fi­dent Sa­cred Choice can take out Ran­vet

Townsville Bulletin - - Racing -

JOE Pride has great re­spect for star stayer Maluck­y­day but bel i e v e s t h e Mel b o u r n e Cup run­ner-up is un­der the odds and beat­able in to­mor­row’s Ran­vet Stakes.

P r i d e i s t a k i n g a i m a t Maluck­y­day and Caulfield Cup win­ner Descarado with con­sis­tent mare Sa­cred Choice in the Group One weight-for-age con­test at Rose­hill.

It’s part of a plan he hopes will end with his sec­ond Don­caster vic­tory next month.

Maluck­y­day is the $ 1.70 favourite to claim a Group One break­through.

‘‘ Ev­ery­one has got Maluck­y­day on top and I do think he’s the horse to beat,’’ Pride said. ‘‘ Maybe you shouldn’t worry about prices but $ 1.70 about a horse that’s sec­ond-up over 2000m and a horse that’s shown he’s a gen­uine stayer, I don’t know.

‘‘ I think he’s un­der the odds and I think he’s beat­able, so I’m hop­ing I’m the one that can do that.’’

Sa­cred Choice, win­ner of the G r o u p O n e M y e r C l a s s i c ( 1 6 0 0 m) a t F l e mi n g t o n i n Novem­ber, turned in the best run of her au­tumn prepa­ra­tion when hit­ting the line strongly for third in the Chip­ping Nor­ton Stakes ( 1600m) at War­wick Farm on March 5.

Maluck­y­day, trained by John Hawkes in part­ner­ship with his s o n s Mi c h a e l a n d Way n e , turned in a slash­ing first-up ef­fort in the same race to come from the tail of the field and fin­ish fourth.

Pride has found a prepa­ra­tion which works for Sa­cred Choice and will stick to it lead­ing into the Don­caster on April 16, with the Ran­vet her fi­nal start be­fore the time-hon­oured Rand­wick mile.

Sa­cred Choice had four weeks be­tween runs af­ter the Epona Stakes ( 1900m) last au­tumn and came out to win the Group Two Eman­ci­pa­tion Stakes ( 1600m) at Rand­wick.

Pride also left four weeks be­tween Sa­cred Choice’s third in the Ep­som Hand­i­cap ( 1600m) and the Group One Myer Clas­sic a t F l e mi n g t o n d u r i n g t h e spring.

‘‘ I was go­ing to do it if I could and it was just a mat­ter of work­ing it in and see­ing how she was go­ing,’’ Pride said.

‘‘ The op­por­tu­nity is there so I’m go­ing to do it again.’’

Sa­cred Choice hasn’t raced over 2000m since join­ing Pride’s team a cou­ple of years ago but she did win in maiden and class one com­pany over 2000m and 2100m as a younger horse on pro­vin­cial tracks.

‘‘ It’s telling you she can prob­a­bly run the trip,’’ Pride said.

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