For the second time in two weeks Stephen Theodore will throw Road Trippin into a race with the the best colt in the land, Pierro.
And for the second time in two weeks he knows he can’t beat him. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be there.
Theodore, like the rest of the racing world, knows he is up against something special in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on Saturday but believes there is still plenty to race for.
“There’s probably six other trainers saying the same thing. We all know what we’re up against,” Theodore said.
“But it’s very exciting. It’s obviously every trainer’s ambition to have horses in these big races at this time of year and there’s still $180,000 for second and somebody has to fill the placings.
“It’s particularly exciting coming from a small stable and probably having a smaller budget than most. If he places we’ll probably be cheering louder than the winners.”
Theodore says he has had “five or six” Group 1 runners in his career with his best results Count Ricardo’s third in the 2004 Victoria Derby and Overclock’s third in the 2005 Australasian Oaks.
Road Trippin finished fourth to Pierro in the Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley after jumping awkwardly and Theodore is hoping a gear change and a newfound ability to run between horses will allow him to join the list of Group 1 placegetters.
“He jumped awkwardly at Moonee Valley and he was timid to go between runners,” Theodore said.
“Craig [Williams] suggested to try putting some pacifiers and a one-eyed blinker on him.
“We trialled him Monday, conscious of the fact we were likely to be racing this weekend so Craig only gave him a 200m burst but the horse responded positively to the gear changes and was happy to go between runners.”
With Williams committed to Awesome Bro on Saturday, Ben Melham has picked up the ride on the son of Charge Forward.
“It’s a bit of a jockey merry-go-round and this time of year and Craig was already committed to Awesome Bro but he’s said to us he’ll ride him in the Derby,” Theodore said.