Trainer Joe Pride has been impressed with how Testator Silens has been able to turn his form around since rejoining his stable and hopes to cap the preparation with a win at Rosehill on Saturday.
The gelding started his career with Pride, trialling back in April 2020, before connections elected to send him to Luke Clarke at Braidwood where he won five of his first six starts and was in the market in the 2022 Country Championships Final.
After again qualifying for the Championships earlier this year but failing to fire in that race and one subsequent start he was sent back to Pride where he’s proven a lot easier to deal with than in the early days.
“He had one trial and he wasn’t showing much, he was very difficult and so the owner said ‘I’ll give him to my country trainer and he might be easier to handle there’,’’ Pride said.
“They did a great job getting him off to the races.
“Maybe he lost his way a little bit toward the end of his last prep so they thought he was worth a shot bringing him back into town. And he’s been really good.
“He’s hitting the line really hard, in all three runs he’s hit the line.”
Testator Silens has finished less than a length from the winner in each starts for Pride and was narrowly beaten two weeks ago at Randwick when he just failed to run down tearaway leader Luvoir.
He stays at 1400m in the TAB Handicap, where he’s drawn the inside gate and was $2.70 with TAB on Wednesday, and Pride is looking to ease up after this run and set his sights on the winter months.
“He’s racing like a horse who hopefully could break through this Saturday then I’d probably give him a little freshen up,’’ Pride said.
“He loves a wet track and he hasn’t had one yet.
“He’s now had two weeks between runs and had a couple of gallops, he’s gone well in them, everything’s gone smoothly with him. It’s a nice assignment for him and he’s won at Rosehill in the past.
“He’s paid for his preparation with his placings, that’s the nature of Sydney prizemoney now, but the cherry on top would be a win.”
Pride said it’s unlikely Principessa will back up from her second-up effort last weekend unless conditions change considerably in the lead up.
The mare hit the line late behind Terra Mater but a dry track and outside alley doesn’t appeal to the Warwick Farm trainer.
“She’s had the two runs back now and she’s ready to do something, I wouldn’t be running her unless it’s worse than a 5,’’ he said.
There’s a bright future for lightly raced three-year-old Fire Tribe who steps up in class in the Inglis Classic Sale 11-13 Feb Handicap (1300m) after an impressive maiden win on Boxing Day.
While he goes straight to a Benchmark 72, Pride said the potential is there for Fire Tribe to measure up and the metropolitan prizemoney appeals.
Prior to that breakthrough, the gelding split subsequent winners Sydney Bowler and Restonica.
“It’s a bit of a jump in grade but when you win a metro maiden it’s hard to go back to the provincials because they make you a 64 (rater),’’ he said.
“All of a sudden you’re carrying 61kg, I’d rather have 54kg on his back and give him a crack at the prizemoney. He could run second and win more than if he won a provincial race.
“I’ve got a lot of time for him. He has that nice soft draw and that should enable him to race a little bit closer and he’s got a really good finish on him.”
– Racing NSW