Joe Pride is a master at rejuvenating tried horses and he is hoping to weave his magic again with Miss Keepsake.
The former Kiwi looked to be a stayer of the future when she won the 2010 Group One Queensland Oaks and finished third in that year’s Queensland Derby.
But she has failed to fire in two subsequent campaigns, including her first for Pride in the autumn when her four runs over longer trips included an inglorious last in the Chairman’s Hcp (2600m) won by Once Were Wild.
“I think her best trip is probably around a mile (1600m),” Pride said.
Miss Keepsake will be restricted to races around that distance range this preparation and her second-up assignment in Saturday’s Listed Angst Stakes (1400m) is no exception.
The five-year-old indicated she had returned in good order with a closing third to Thankgodyou’rehere in the Bill Ritchie Hcp (1400m).
She has been given a three-week break between runs and while Pride expects that to suit her, he isn’t so sure about the set weights plus penalties conditions of Saturday’s race.
Miss Keepsake is the 57kg topweight while half of the 14 runners will carry the 53kg limit.
“She’s very poorly weighted here and unfortunately most of the mares races are these set weights and penalties races,” Pride said.
“She pays the price for winning a Group One, albeit a long time ago and not much of a Group One at that.
“But, I can’t place her any other way so I have to take this on and if we meet these same mares in that Gosford race we will meet them a lot better at the weights.
“But we’ll see how she goes Saturday first. I just want to get her back in the winner’s circle.”
The Gosford race Pride has in mind is the Listed Belle Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on Sunday week.
Christian Reith rode the mare last start and retains the mount in the Angst, the feature on the eight-race Rosehill card.
Darley will have two runners, last year’s second placegetter Shannara and Quidnunc, while Chris Waller (Little Surfer Girl and Vintedge) and Guy Walter (Skyerush and Foxstar) will also saddle up a pair apiece.
Walter, who won the Angst Stakes with Hennessy Waltz in 2004, will be out to keep his feature race momentum rolling.
He took training honours at Randwick last weekend with a Group One double courtesy of Doctor Doom in the Spring Champion and Streama in the Flight Stakes.