Pride Open To Fresh Everest Attack With Private Eye

Joe Pride already has one TAB Everest slot locked away and he’s happy to make the case that Group 1 winner Private Eye would be a worthy inclusion alongside stablemate Eduardo in the $15 million classic in October.

The five-year-old, winner of last year’s Epsom Handicap, is enjoying a break after his second in the Stradbroke Handicap and Pride is adamant he can be effective fresh at the Randwick 1200m.

“He’s very good in high pressure races,’’ Pride said.

“He’ll soak up the pressure and dash home, I think he’s gone to a new level and he showed in the Stradbroke on a dry track what he is capable of doing.

“I’m not going to be obsessive about it but if he is going well he’s a good fresh horse.”

Private Eye is due to resume in October with a Group 1 in Melbourne third-up his likely target though Pride hasn’t ruled out the new $2 million Five Diamonds (1800m) for five-year-olds on November 5.

The gelding beat Embracer and Icebath first-up last spring in the Show Country over 1200m at Randwick on a good track and while the Everest is the nation’s toughest sprint to win Pride can only see Private Eye coming into his own next season.

“He’s only lightly raced, he’s won 8 out of 20 and is very much a horse on the rise,’’ he said.

Of course Eduardo, third in the TAB Everest last year, already has his slot secured through Yulong Investments and Pride said he’s returned from his spell glowing.

The rising nine-year-old is a $9 chance in TAB’s all-in market and is set to resume in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) on September 3.

“He’s spelled terrific, he’s had the biggest break he’s had since he’s been in Sydney,’’ he said.

“His feet look great, his coat looks great, he’s jumping out of his skin.”

Eduardo, a winner of 11 from 27 starts, last raced when chasing Nature Strip home in the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in April with Pride passing on a Brisbane trip this year to give the gelding his best chance to topple his great rival.

“I keep saying with him, and horses in general, I think people get too easily caught up in their age,’’ Pride said.

“Look at how much racing they’ve done and when they’ve done their racing, I think it is far more relevant than their age.”

After the Concorde, Eduardo will contest the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) on September 17 before arriving at the TAB Everest a month later third-up. He’ll also attempt to defend the $1m Nature Strip Stakes – the race named after the previous year’s Everest champ.

“Hopefully next year we’re shooting for the Eduardo Stakes,’’ he said.

Four of the 12 TAB Everest slots are secured with four months until Australia’s richest race on October 15 – Nature Strip (Chris Waller Racing), Masked Crusader (Max Whitby & Neil Werrett), Mazu (The Star & Arrowfield) and Eduardo.

– Racing NSW

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