Joe Pride has revealed that he is not happy with the 2015 Newmarket Handicap weights and he believes that Lankan Rupee has got into the race well with a handicap of 58 and a half kilograms.
Lankan Rupee carried 56 and a half kilograms to victory in the Newmarket Handicap and he went on to win the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m), Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m), but will carry just two kilograms more in the 2015 edition of the race.
Pride told Sky Racing HQ that he was surprised Lankan Rupee did not receive a penalty for his dominant win in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington on February 21 and he is hopeful that Terravista will receive the same treatment if he comes out and wins the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on March 14.
“It is amazing, four Group 1s are only worth two kilos,” Pride said.
“I am not a handicapper, but everybody in Australia seemed to be pretty impressed by it except for the handicapper.
“I’m not sure that is going to be the difference, but it just doesn’t be much room to move with my horse going forward.
“If I won this race and I win another three Group 1s after that, I don’t think I will be getting to the race next year with 58 and a half.
“It just make it hard to place in handicaps once they win a weight-for-age race and that is what my bloke has done.
“Hopefully the handicappers are as generous next year.”
While Pride is not happy with the 2015 Newmarket Handicap weights, he is thrilled with the condition of Terravista heading into the race after he hit the line strongly in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Friday.
Terravista has not had a race start since he took out the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington in November last year and no horse has won the Newmarket Handicap first-up since Polycrates in 1917, but Pride is confident that the Captain Rio gelding goes well enough fresh to record an historic win in the $1 million race.
“He is in great order and I am really pleased with him,” Pride said.
“He has improved every preparation that he has had in his life so far and there is no reason to think that he won’t go forward again.
“It has been a slow steady build-up to this.
“I know how good this horse is fresh and it has been a very intentional plan to go into this race first-up.
“I realise that history is against us, but I don’t know how many Terravista’s have gone into this race first-up.”
Terravista is currently available at 2015 Newmarket Handicap odds of $4.80 with Ladbrokes and he is on the third line of betting behind Chautauqua ($3.20) and Lankan Rupee ($3.60).