Joe Pride is a believer, he just wants rain to fall to make him believe even more.
Pride has meticulously planned Sacred Choice’s preparation for Saturday’s Group One $2 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick and firmly believes glamour mare More Joyous can be defeated.
“I’d love it if it rains, and if I get it I honestly think she (Sacred Choice) can beat More Joyous,” Pride said.
“I’m not saying she’s better than her, she’s not, it’s because she gets five kilograms off her and if it’s a wet track it becomes a completely different playing field.
“I’m confident she’ll run well.”
Fine weather had Randwick rated a dead (4) on Thursday but showers have been predicted for Friday and also Saturday.
Sacred Choice has won on good and dead tracks in the past, but her Group One success in this season’s Myer Classic was on a heavy track and an affected surface offers the best chance at Doncaster glory.
“I think it just takes something out of More Joyous for mine,” Pride said.
“That’s not a knock on More Joyous, she’s a fantastic mare, but I think her task becomes harder on a wet track with 57 kilos.”
Sacred Choice has been away from racing for the past four weeks with Pride following a “tried and true” preparation into the feature mile.
Last autumn Sacred Choice came off a four-week break to win the Group Two Emancipation Stakes over 1600m at Randwick.
Then in the spring the five-year-old didn’t race for four weeks after her Epsom Handicap third and came out and defeated reigning Horse Of The Year Typhoon Tracy by 4-1/2 lengths on a heavy track in the Myer Classic.
“It’s a tried and true formula that’s been successful with her in the past,” Pride said.
“She had a week in the paddock (after the Ranvet Stakes on March 19), a handful of gallops freshens her up and she comes into the race buzzing and ready to go.
“I’m very happy with her condition and I can’t wait for Saturday.”
Sacred Choice was a $21 chance on Thursday with More Joyous the dominant $2 favourite to claim her sixth Group One success.
Two years ago Pride experienced the biggest win of his career to date when Vision And Power stormed home in the Doncaster with 52kg – the same weight Sacred Choice will carry on Saturday.
“I like having lightweight chances in a Doncaster,” he said.
“Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind having a heavyweight chance as well, but I just think it’s the kind of race that sets up for backmarkers and for horses with no weight on their back.
“And she’s proven. She is much better weighted than some of her opposition because some of them are on the limit (51.5kg) by default, whereas she is truly half a kilo over the limit and she’s a good performer.”