Trainer Joe Pride has revealed that he is likely to campaign Ball Of Muscle exclusively in Melbourne during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
Ball Of Muscle proved that he was capable of competing at Group level when he finished second in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on April 25 and won the Group 2 QTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 30 and Pride is keen to give the Dubawi gelding an opportunity at the highest level of racing in the spring.
Pride told Racing Ahead that he does not want to run Ball Of Muscle against his half-brother Terravista in races like the Group 2 The Shorts (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 19 or the Premiere Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on October 3 and he indicated that the rising five-year-old could contest the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 10 or the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) at the same venue a week later.
“We are just basically trying to avoid clashes in the lead-up,” Pride said.
“The core ownership in both those horses are very similar and we don’t really want to be clashing them in races that aren’t for big prizemoney or Group 1 standard.
“I think the best races for him are in Melbourne, the program for the sprinters in Sydney is fairly average and in the spring we don’t have a Group 1 sprint, which is quiet surprising considering how many we have in the autumn.
“There are some really nice races in Melbourne and a race like the Schillaci or the Caulfield Sprint on Caulfield Cup Day could be nice races for Ball Of Muscle as a launching pad into the Flemington Carnival.”
Ball Of Muscle was sent to the spelling paddock following his QTC Cup victory and will spend another week away from his stable before he begins preparations for his spring campaign.
Pride was very happy with the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign of Ball Of Muscle, but he believes that the gelding can make another step-up in quality during his upcoming preparation.
“He is lovely and I am really happy with him,” Pride said.
“He has another week in the spelling paddock and then he will come back in.
“Like his two brothers there before him, Tiger Tees and Terravista, he has made big steps as a four-year-old and they continue to improve.
“There is no way that we have seen the best of him yet.
“That last run in Brisbane was a clear high for him and I believe that he can still build on that.
“He is a horse that can run time and he is an exciting horse.”
Ball Of Muscle has currently recorded eight wins from his 13 race starts and has accumulated over $400,000 in prizemoney for connections.