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Joe Pride is planning more interstate travel with Ball Of Muscle after taking out the Group Two Schillaci Stakes
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Trainer Joe Pride is planning more interstate travel with Ball Of Muscle after taking out the Group Two Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield.

The Sydney visitor may return for a race at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week although Pride is favouring a trip to Perth for the Winterbottom Stakes.

Tracking a wide course under jockey Craig Williams, Ball Of Muscle, backed from $12 to $9.50, scored a three-quarter length win from Irish sprinter Spirit Of Valour ($17) with Missrock ($11) two lengths away third.

Pride was disappointed with Ball Of Muscle’s last placing behind Viddora in the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 28 and admitted he was anxious about returning for Saturday’s 1100m sprint.

“After Moonee Valley he went home to Sydney on the Saturday and I got him back down here on Thursday,” Pride said.

“He’s a real traveller and I think that’s about his 12th interstate trip.

“I was a bit nervous coming back down after that defeat and he was a bit sweated up today and I thought a bit agitated, but he’s put in a run as good as any in his career.”

Pride said Ball Of Muscle would return to Sydney on Sunday with plans to freshen up the sprinter.

“He’s a tough horse, but you can’t keep buttering up,” Pride said.

“I’m toying with the idea of taking him to Perth for the Winterbottom.

“I think he’d be suited by the 1200 metres around that track so I might take him straight there.”

Pride’s only previous trip to Perth was with Terravista, a half-brother of Ball Of Muscle, who finished 10th in the 2016 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.

 
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