Leading Sydney trainer Joe Pride is set to have both Casual Choice and Earnest Ernest in The July Sprint at the Randwick Kensington track on Saturday.
Casual Choice and Earnest Ernest both competed in the Primo Smallgoods Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday, but Pride told Racing Ahead this morning that he expects both geldings to back-up this weekend.
“They are well,” Pride said.
“They both went around last Saturday and they are pretty customers, so chances are they will back up again this weekend.”
Earnest Ernest has been up and running since January and has had 12 starts this preparation, but remains in good form after performing well in both the De Bortoli Wines Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 5 and the Primo Smallgoods Handicap last weekend.
Pride admitted that he was very impressed with the performance of Earnest Ernest in the Primo Smallgoods Handicap and he expects the rising nine-year-old to produce his usual brave performance in the July Sprint.
“He was a big run Ernest on the weekend,” Pride said.
“I was watching the other two and I didn’t realise how good his run was until I got to watch the replay.
“He probably should have won the race I think and he is in good form.”
Casual Choice joined Pride’s stable at the start of the year, after previously being prepared by Chris Waller and he has performed well in four starts this preparation.
The Choisir gelding resumed with a fast-finishing sixth in The Million Dollar Mango Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on June 14 and had no luck when fourth in the Tooheys New Handicap (1200m) at the same venue on June 28.
Casual Choice scored just the third win of his career in the De Bortoli Wines Handicap and finished within a length of the winner Cradle Me in the Primo Smallgoods Handicap last Saturday.
“Casual Choice is only lightly-raced, but he is a horse of fairly high potential and he is starting to show that now,” Pride said.
Casual Choice and Earnest Ernest are set to face some talented rivals in The July Sprint this weekend; with Queensland sprinter Adebisi, Group 1 placegetter Lady Of Harrods, veteran gelding News Alert, Ramornie Handicap placegetter Territory and the resuming It’s Crunch Time all included in the nominations for the $85,000 race.