A fit, in-form horse and a favourable weather forecast have convinced Joe Pride to back Passage Of Time up in the Winter Dash at Randwick.
The seven-day turnaround is a ploy the Warwick Farm trainer has tried with Passage Of Time three times before – without success – but Pride says the Gooree Stud horse’s statistics during previous preparations should be disregarded.
The five-year-old has been a changed horse since he was gelded before his current campaign, and his previous inconsistency has been replaced by a desire to compete every start.
“I’m trying to treat him like a different horse this preparation. I don’t mean in the way I’m training him but in the way I’m assessing him,” Pride said.
“Anything you see in his record from previous preparations doesn’t really apply this prep because he is so much more genuine now.
“The one that does apply and that won’t go away is he’s a very good wet tracker.”
Passage Of Time has won four of his six starts on rain-affected ground and will get those conditions at Randwick on Saturday.
He showed his liking for them last weekend when he dictated throughout to score over 1300 metres on a soft track at Rosehill, coming through that race so well that Pride did not hesitate to roll the dice again.
“I was toying with the idea of backing up….and every day this week he’s really pleased me,” Pride said.
“I saw the weather forecast as well and he loves it wet, so I thought, why not?”
Passage Of Time will clash with several other competent wet-track performers including last year’s Winter Dash winner I Thought So, grand campaigner Jungle Edge and Hawkes Racing three-year-old Sesar who is a Group Two winner on heavy ground.
He will be among four Randwick runners for Pride along with Arraignment, backmarker Argent D’Or and former Queensland mare Miss Exfactor.
Miss Exfactor had some handy form in Brisbane before joining Pride’s yard, including a fourth to stakes winner Winter Bride at Doomben last July.
She turned in her best run for her new trainer last start when she was placed behind Gongs on a heavy track.
“She’s a wet tracker and she gets conditions to suit on Saturday,” Pride said.
All four Pride runners have wet track form and while he expects Arraignment to improve on whatever he does, he says Argent D’Or is a knockout chance if he can strike a truly run race.