Eduardo continues TJ Smith Stakes build-up

Eduardo will continue his build-up to the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes with a barrier trial at his home track this week.

Trainer Joe Pride reported the brilliant sprinter had come through his Challenge Stakes win in top order and continued to thrive.

“He’s super. He will trial here at Warwick Farm next Friday and then he’s off to the TJ,” Pride said.

Eduardo’s tousles with Nature Strip have made for a thrilling rivalry between the pair, who have clashed nine times throughout their careers with the verdict 5-4 in favour of Nature Strip.

Pride’s eight-year-old will be out the square the ledger in the T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 2 and it is a race the trainer has had in his sights for some time.

Eduardo was third to Nature Strip in Sydney’s premier autumn sprint 12 months ago and filled the same position behind his arch rival in The Everest last spring.

While Eduardo is a dual Group 1 winner, his three victories over Nature Strip have all been in Group 2 races and Pride says the gelding deserves to take the crown in a big one.

“It is so important for me to win a TJ or an Everest with this horse,” Pride said.

“I’ve still got a bit of time left, but I am really keen for him to have one of those alongside his name before he retires.

“I want him to win one of the big ones.”

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