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Predatory Pricer’s trainer Paul Murray has resisted the temptation to make gear changes on the stallion as he tips an improved performance in Saturday’s Group I Underwood Stakes (1800m).

Takeover Target’s little brother was a brilliant first-up winner of the Group II Liston Stakes at Caulfield last month but struggled into seventh behind Vigor in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on September 5.

Jockey Steven King reported Predatory Pricer over-raced on the inside of horses while wearing blinkers in the Makybe Diva Stakes but Murray said the four-year-old’s workload, not the blinkers, were to blame.

“I just had him too fresh going into the Makybe Diva Stakes,” Murray said. “He had three weeks between the Liston Stakes and his next run. He was just too full of himself.”

Murray said the decision to leave the blinkers on Predatory Pricer was his decision alone but said he had poured the work into the son of Street Cry.

“He’s his normal self now,” Murray said. “I gave him plenty of work after his last start to just take the freshness out of him. He’s much more relaxed, not jumping around.

“He’s much more serious now. He’s been working really well lately, he’s tightened up a fair bit in his condition but his attitude is much better after some work.”

Murray said Predatory Pricer’s connections would meet after Saturday’s Caulfield meeting to decide the stallion’s path for the second half of the spring.

“The Turnbull Stakes at Flemington a fortnight from Saturday will be his next run,” he said. “We’re just toying with the idea of backing him up a week later to run in the Yalumba Stakes as well.”

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