Drawing the rails in a big race can be a boon or a burden, but Joseph Pride is happy for Private Eye to take his chances from barrier one in the Stradbroke Handicap.
The Group 1 winner has been dealt a string of tricky gates in feature races, jumping from barrier 14 of 18 in the Golden Eagle, 19 of 20 in the Doncaster Mile and 12 of 16 when finishing midfield last start in the Kingsford Smith Cup.
While Pride admits jockey Brenton Avdulla will need the runs to present at the right time, he also believes an inside draw will allow Private Eye to settle just worse than midfield, rather than be taken back to last.
“Don’t get me wrong, he is going to need some luck but I’d rather be wishing for luck up the inside than dragging him back off the outside and having to come around the whole field, particularly with topweight,” Pride said.
“He is a very good horse Private Eye, and I am convinced he’s going better than ever so he gets a great opportunity.”
Private Eye has 57kg, an impost no horse has carried to victory in the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) for the past 20 years.
Show A Heart won with 56kg in 2002 while Black Piranha carted 55.5kg when racing to his second Stradbroke victory in 2010.
While Pride is mindful of the history, he also believes Saturday’s Eagle Farm feature is not as strong as past renewals.
“It’s a very even Stradbroke but I’d suggest it’s not the best Stradbroke we have seen in the last few years either, so maybe that makes it easier for him to win as topweight,” he said.
“Brisbane has been a happy hunting ground for the stable and I like taking horses up here at this time of year.
“He is going terrific and I’m confident he will run a super race, he just needs an even break of luck, which he hasn’t had much of lately.”