It was hard to tell if Joe Pride was more excited about the win of Sir Berus at Warwick Farm, or his invitation to his favourite rugby league team’s season launch.
A long-time South Sydney Rabbitohs fan, Pride said he didn’t usually accept invitations but was happy to make an exception.
“I was rapt when I got this one,” Pride said.
“I particularly want to meet (Souths hooker) Issac Luke, he’s a bit of a hero of mine.”
Pride was also thrilled to see Sir Berus lump 60kg to victory in Wednesday’s Ibis Milano Lunch Special Handicap (1400m), four days after the gelding finished ninth to Dream Choice at Randwick.
“I had him nominated for Warwick Farm, then I looked at Saturday and thought I’d go with that,” Pride said.
“But he didn’t have a hard run and he was still in here so I brought him back (to the races).
“He’s only a pit pony but he’s carried 60 kilos today.
“He was clearly the best horse in the race, the handicapper tells you that. He just needed some luck.”
Sir Berus, a late firmer from $5 into $4.40, sprinted down the outside to nail $2.60 favourite Red Dynamite by a half-length with Kyoto ($13) another three-quarters of a length away third.
Pride also reported new stable acquisition Steps In Time had come through her impressive win at Tuesday’s Warwick Farm barrier trials in good shape and was on track to resume in the Group Two Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill on February 15.
Formerly with John O’Shea, the mare took out a star-studded heat by 2-1/2 lengths over stablemate Tiger Tees who is yet to have his autumn program determined.