The 2014 Coolmore Classic field is packed full of quality fillies and mares, but trainer Joseph Pride is full of confidence that Steps In Time can return to winning form in the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Steps In Time had her first run for the Pride stable in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 15 and was only narrowly denied victory by Catkins in the final stages of the race.
Pride was thrilled with the effort of Steps In Time in the Breeders Classic and the Warwick Farm-based trainer told Racing Ahead this morning that he has kept the daughter of Danehill Dancer fresh in the hope that she can replicate that performance this weekend.
“I am particularly pleased with her,” Pride said.
“It was her first run for me and I just wanted to get a look at her under race conditions.
“After seeing how well she ran fresh and looking at her record in previous years I decided to give her, her second up run in the Coolmore.
“I think that she is a really dynamic mare on the fresh side and so far everything has gone to plan, which it needs to do in these big races.”
Steps In Time will be running in the Coolmore Classic for the third year in a row after finishing eighth behind Ofcourseican in 2012 and a narrow fourth in last year’s race.
Appearance, Red Tracer and Norzita were the only horses that finished in front of Steps in Time in the 2013 edition of the Coolmore Classic and Pride believes that the six-year-old can win Saturday’s race if she replicates that performance.
“I will say that if she repeats her run from last year that it would be good enough to win,” Pride said.
“It was an exceptional run under the circumstances; she was beaten by Appearance, Red Tracer and Norzita who are three top class mares.
“I think that the race this year, while being a good competitive race, lacks a little bit of the quality that it had last year.
“There are no Appearances or Red Tracer’s this year.
“That may not be giving Catkins the credit that she deserves, but she hasn’t performed at the level that those two mares had going into the race last year.
“I am really confident and I just think that she had a really good preparation.”
Steps In Time is currently available at 2014 Coolmore Classic odds of $11; with Catkins ($10) remaining a narrow favourite from Lucia Valentina ($10) and Royal Descent ($10).