Joe Pride ended an otherwise frustrating day on a bright note with consistent sprinter Title taking out the Listed Lightning Handicap at Randwick.
Pride’s two other runners on the day had failed to fire and he also made the decision to withdraw Phenomenal Lass from the Listed Nivision Stakes when the track was downgraded to slow on Saturday morning.
The track was upgraded to dead later in the day.
The Warwick Farm trainer had prepared the runners-up, Black Prince and De Lightning Ridge, in the Lightning Handicap (1100m) in the past two years and was pleased to go one better with Title who scored by two lengths over Rarefied and took his record to eight wins from 19 starts.
“He’s obviously come back in good order and he’s in for a good preparation,” Pride said.
“He’s never done that before first-up but he’s raced at that level before winning the Takeover Target Stakes.
“It was a bit of a disaster of a day but it’s finished off nicely and that’s racing.”
Pride is targeting a Listed race over 1300m at Hawkesbury with Title early next month, a home-town race for the gelding’s owner-breeder Louise Nutman.
“We’d love to win that race out there at Hawkesbury but we’ll just see how he is after this,” Pride said.
Jay Ford has struck up a winning combination with Title in recent preparations with Saturday’s victory the jockey’s fifth from eight rides on the five-year-old.
Ford bagged a Randwick double after earlier partnering the Con Karakatsanis-trained Riva De Lago to an impressive first-up win.
“Title has come back just as well as when he went out,” Ford said.
“He’s not noted as a first-up performer but he trialled well the other day and no doubt having the blinkers on helped him today.
“He put himself on the speed, I nursed him up the rise and then he fought right to the line.
“You’d like to think he can only step up another notch from here now.”
Title, who started $9.50, defeated comeback galloper Rarefied ($3.20 fav) with a length to Midnight At Ascot ($12) in third place.