Eduardo ready to rumble in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes

It’s a formula Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride has used before with his star sprinter Eduardo, with his eight-year-old putting them to the sword in a Randwick trial yesterday before heading towards a feature sprint.

The Host gelding cruised to win his heat under hands and heels riding by Nash Rawiller ahead of Splintex and Bundchen, and looks ready to rumble in next Saturday’s $1 million Black Caviar Lightning over 1000m at Flemington.

It was no surprise to Pride, who applied the same method last preparation by winning a Randwick trial before beating Nature Strip in the Group 2 The Shorts first-up, and he believes his dual-Group 1 winner is right on target.

“It’s typical of what we see from him on trial day,” Pride told SEN’s Andrew Bensley on Tuesday morning.

“He’s like a metronome, everything is so consistent with him.

“He tends to do that at his second trial, very pleased with what I saw. His last two preparations have had similar sort of trials to win both times first-up.”

Having started his career in Melbourne under the care of Sarah Zschoke it will not be Eduardo’s first start at Flemington, but Pride advises punters to put a line through any past runs down the famous straight.

“I guess if there’s a question mark over him it’s that we haven’t seen him at Flemington for some time,” Pride said.

“He had some runs there earlier on in his life before he came to my stable, but I don’t think he was going very well at the time.

“A little bit of a correction can be made in the form guide when you look at his track stats.

“He’s improved with age, he’s like a good red. I love taking that horse to the races.”

Eduardo isn’t the only galloper Pride has set for a feature sprint, with his Smart Missile mare Ballistic Lover being aimed at the $750,000 Group1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on February 26. The four-year-old has performed admirably in Melbourne before with a win in the Listed Norman Carlyon, a second in the Group 3 Begonia Belle and a fourth in the Group 1 Moir Stakes.

“She’s going along terrific,” Pride said.

“The Oakleigh Plate as opposed to the Lightning or the Newmarket is generally just that tier below and it is a handicap which gives all horses their chance.

“You could probably say it was a touch ambitious, but I believe that’s where she is at now.”

With the current Inglis Classic Sale being conducted at Warwick Farm’s Riverside Stables, Pride won’t be mortgaging the house to buy any high priced yearlings.

“I’ve never considered myself a player but we do our best and that’s something I think people appreciate about my stable,” Pride said.

“We don’t have the top yearlings that come out of these sales but we are in the best races, so that tells you something about the way we train horses.

“I believe our system is as good or better than anyone else and that gives us the opportunity to play at the top end, but not necessarily at the top end of these sales which saves people money.”


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