Joe Pride out to capitalise on The Everest growth

Joe Pride has taken some important learnings from his previous Everest experiences, but none of them have anything to do with training horses.

Instead, they have taught him things about himself.

Pride has saddled up four runners in the slot race, his best result a close second with Private Eye 12 months ago, and on Saturday he will be double-handed with last year’s runner-up joined by prolific winner Think About It.

The Everest has only been around for six incarnations, but it has quickly become the biggest event on the Sydney racing calendar.

Navigating how to steer his team and horses through the ever-growing interest and media demands, along with the associated pressure, is where the trainer says he has learned his biggest lessons.

“Maybe not so much tools in training a horse, but some growth things for myself and how to handle the occasion,” Pride said of what he had learned from previous Everest forays.

“It’s important I handle the occasion. It’s not a matter of pulling these Ferraris out of a garage and getting there race day – this has been months in the making.

“In that time, a process has got to be followed. I’m the leader of that team and if I can’t get it right, things below me aren’t going to go right.

“Maybe that’s the benefit of having had runners in the race before. That experience of being able to guide the team through and I’m pretty relaxed about it this year.”

The Everest 2023 will carry a $20 million purse on Saturday, the first prizemoney cheque of $7 million to be split among the winning connections and slot holder.

Think About It is a $4.80 equal favourite to take home the loot, Private Eye a $6.50 third pick.

But for Pride, the money is only a small part of why he does what he does, another lesson confirmed the hard way in the 2022 The Everest.

“I ran second last year and picked up the biggest cheque of any horse I’ve ever had at the races and I’ve got to say, I walked off the track disappointed,” he said.

“It’s not all about the money for me, it’s about winning, and we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to do that on Saturday.”

So which of his pair does he rate the better chance?

Pride says Think About It and Private Eye are very different horses, each with their individual strengths and weaknesses.

While the barrier draw has had an impact, the former drawing ideally in gate five and Private Eye wider in nine, he says both have the arsenal to win.

“Private Eye is the proven one. He’s the one who has been on the big stage before and has performed at the level that’s going to be required on Saturday,” Pride said.

“Think About It is an up-and-comer, eight straight (wins), a horse on the rise.

“I’m staying out of it.”

The Everest has apparently taught Pride the importance of stable diplomacy as well.

About RS NewsWire

Racing and Sports is a global publisher of online horse racing form and information, and a leader in interactive racing technology. Racing and Sports is at the cutting-edge of information technology, allowing businesses and website users first access to emerging technologies.

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