High maintenance racehorses are Robert Price’s speciality and he will head to Warwick Farm on Saturday with two of them.
Price has a knack for managing gallopers with soundness issues, and coaxing the best out of them on race day.
He did just that last weekend when Too Hi Tek, a winner at Nowra at his previous start, landed a boilover victory at Rosehill as a $101 chance.
The five-year-old will back-up in Saturday’s Meadowlea Mile (1600m) at Warwick Farm and Price has warned punters not to consider his city win a fluke.
“I thought he was an each-way chance, I really did. Otherwise I wouldn’t have taken him there,” Price said.
“His last win (at Nowra) was very, very good.
“Although it was in the country, he carried 60 kilos and was three-deep the mile. It takes a nice horse to do that.”
Too Hi Tek has won five of his 24 starts for Price but like most of the NSW south coast trainer’s team, he needs to be carefully managed.
The gelding suffers from bruised heels and wears a special round shoe in front during the week before reverting to standard plates come race day.
“He bruises his heels which is a fairly common problem with racehorses when they run with flat feet,” Price said.
“He’s probably a better winter horse when the tracks are a bit more forgiving but then, we got to a good three at Rosehill the other day and it was quite forgiving.”
Too Hi Tek won’t be triple figure odds on Saturday, although he is still considered one of the outsiders in early Tab markets at $15 with betting headed by the Peter Moody-trained Soros at $2.10.
Price has done little work with him this week and says the biggest influence on the gelding’s chances will be how fast the race is run.
“Tempo is critical for those backmarkers and both mine in on the weekend are backmarkers,” he said.
Price’s other Warwick Farm runner is Watertight in the Masterfoods Handicap (2200m).
He ended his last campaign with a second to subsequent Melbourne Cup fourth placegetter Kelinni and will strip fitter for two runs from a spell.
Like Too Hi Tek, Watertight requires careful management.
“He’s got bad hocks and you’ve always got to keep on top of that, otherwise they can just stand in the gates because they need their hocks to drive out of the barriers,” Price said.
“It will be five weeks between runs to the 2200 metres but I think he will be running on. He won’t be far off the mark.”