Joe Pride is feeling the butterflies ahead of Fasika’s return at Randwick and he has learned from past experience that is a good sign.
The trainer of retired dual Group One winner Terravista, Pride becomes anxious every time his high-class horses race and Fasika, who resumes in the Group Three Wenona Girl Quality (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday, fits that bill.
“She’s an exciting mare, lightly raced with plenty of upside,” Pride said.
“I’m a bit nervous actually. Good horses make me nervous and she falls into that category. There is so much expectation and so much at stake when you take a good horse to the races.
“For Terravista’s first 10 starts I used to feel ill going to the races.”
Pride is keeping all options on the table this autumn and while he believes she is best suited to sprints, he has not ruled out testing her over a mile.
Terravista’s half-brother Ball Of Muscle will meet a hot field as he bids to defend his Challenge Stakes (1000m) crown against speedsters Nature Strip, Redzel and wet track specialist Jungle Edge.
The nine-year-old disappointed first-up in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield but with 30 top-three placings from 44 starts, Pride says he cannot be discounted.
There is a plethora of speed horses engaged in the Challenge and Pride admits Glyn Schofield will need to be on his game tactically with Ball of Muscle, who also likes to take control from the front.
“That’s not ideal to have around him but as long as Glyn can get him into a rhythm of his own and let him run his own race and not get involved in the pressure stuff around him,” Pride said.
“He’s a horse who historically can bounce off a bad run and put in a good run.
“He’s in the twilight of his career but he’s a great, old horse.”