Proven partnership Eye G1 Prize

Nine months after Brenton Avdulla missed a Group 3 win aboard Private Eye when he suffered serious injuries in a race day fall, jockey and horse will be reunited to chase an even bigger goal.

Avdulla had been booked to partner the Joe Pride-trained gelding in the Show County Quality at Randwick on August 21 but instead lay in a hospital bed after a horror fall earlier in the program that left him with a neck fracture.

The top jockey has since made a remarkable comeback after six months on the sidelines, while Private Eye went on to win the Epsom Handicap before struggling for his best form on Sydney’s heavy autumn tracks.

But the pair find themselves back together for Saturday’s Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) and so far, theirs has been an unbeatable partnership.

Avdulla has ridden Private Eye three times for three wins, including in last year’s Queensland Guineas at Eagle Farm.

He has reacquainted himself with the horse in two recent barrier trials and despite a wide draw on Saturday, Pride is confident Avdulla can help Private Eye rebound to his best on a firmer surface.

The gelding had been scheduled to travel to Queensland earlier in the carnival for the Tails Stakes but had a setback and didn’t make the trip.

In hindsight, Pride said it had worked out for the better.

“I got a blessing in disguise when he got that temperature before I was going to send him up for the mile race in Brisbane,” Pride said.

“It ended up being a wet track, I would have had to scratch him, and it made me rethink what I was doing with him.

“It didn’t go to plan, but it has actually helped me.”

The Kingsford-Smith Cup will be the first of two Group 1 goals for Private Eye in Brisbane, along with next month’s Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).

He is a $17 chance on Saturday and $21 for the Stradbroke.

– RAS NewsWire

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