Changes to the Doomben 10,000 have given trainer Michael Nolan every reason to think Upstart Pride can be competitive in the Group One sprint.
The 10,000 is being run two weeks earlier and over 1200m for the first time in 70 years after changes to the winter carnival program.
Nolan believes if Upstart Pride can get anywhere near his best times he can prove hard to beat.
There are 40 entries for the Doomben 10,000 with Upstart Pride’s $458,000 prize money ensuring he will get a start in the $700,000.
Nolan won the 10,000 with Lauries Lottery in 1999 and believes Upstart Pride won’t be out of place despite the step up to Group One company for the first time.
“It was this time last year when he ran 1.8.6 in winning a race at Doomben over 1200 metres,” Nolan said.
“I admit we are having a throw at the stumps here but it is hard to line up other winning times for the G1 Doomben 10,000 because it has been previously run at 1350 metres.
“But there isn’t a lot around for him if we go to the lesser stakes races in the winter. He likes the 1200 at Doomben.”
“He had 58 kilos in the Weetwood Handicap last start and he ran a great race.”
Upstart Pride fought on well for fifth in the Weetwood after being used up early from a wide barrier.
“It was a good run but obviously this is a lot harder,” Nolan said.
“Still he deserves a chance.”
Stablemate Jumbo Prince, who shared victory in the Weetwood with Col ‘N’ Lil, will start in the Chairmans Handicap over 2000 metres on Saturday.
“He is heading to the Brisbane Cup so it is a perfect race for him,” Nolan said.
Jumbo Prince ran fourth to Single Gaze in the Listed Tails Quality (1600m) on April 22 while Upstart Pride has not started since the Weetwood.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Russian Revolution, winner of the Group One Galaxy, is the early favourite for the 10,000 at $3.50 with Luxbet ahead of multiple Group One placegetter Fell Swoop and last year’s 10,000 winner Music Magnate.