Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths will team up again with top Adelaide jockey Dom Tourneur when Pride Rock steps out in the Listed $100,000 Lightning Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
The Griffiths – Tourneur combination will be searching for another win in the Lightning Stakes after the pair combined to win with Prettyhappyaboutit in 2013.
And Tourneur has the chance of recording a hat trick of Lightning Stakes wins after scoring last year on the Phillip Stokes trained Buddy Bundy.
Tourneur is on the comeback trial and hasn’t ridden since the beginning of June after injuring his back but is looking forward to getting back into the saddle.
“I rode some jumpouts on Tuesday and it held up well, so I’m pretty happy,” Tourneur told The Advertiser.
“It’s a nice easy comeback into it. If I’m feeling all right, I’ll try to amp it up a bit next week.
Griffiths has no worries about legging up Tourneur on his first day back from injury and is looking to continue their success together.
“Hopefully he’s good fresh,” Griffiths said.
“When you read the form card, he’s pretty good at the track and distance.”
Griffiths will also saddle up Down The Hatch and even though both fillies are working well, they both have to improve on their latest efforts.
Pride Rock was sent out as the favourite at her first run back since winning at Flemington in January but failed to beat a runner home when thirteenth in a 1008m BenchMark 64 at Sale on July 9 while Down The Hatch beat two home when eighth over 1000m at Moonee Valley in a BenchMark 70 on July 15.
“Both fillies are going into this race off disappointing runs — but they both had excuses,” Griffiths said.
“There’s not much between them on a level playing field. Pride Rock is probably stronger at the finish.
“I’d have to favour Pride Rock based on barrier draws. It’s hard work for Down the Hatch from barrier 14.
“Under the structure of these kind of races with the set weights, I think barrier draws are crucial.
“I do know they’ve got the talent to be top-three chances. It’s just a matter of who gets the right run and, looking at it, it looks more likely to be Pride Rock than Down The Hatch.
“Pride Rock was disappointing first-up but she had an injury where she strained some muscles in her rump and was lame behind after the race.
“If we take that out of the equation and hope we see the best of her, her trackwork certainly indicates she can be competitive. Her Flemington win was very good.”
The Mark Kavanagh trained filly Wild Rain heads the Lightning Stakes market order at $2.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Stoker from the Tony McEvoy stable is next in the betting at $5.50 with local gelding Counter Impulse the only other runner under double figures at $8.
Pride Rock is listed as a $12 chance while Down The Hatch is is on the next line of betting at $14.