Last season’s juvenile dual Group 1 winner Pride Of Dubai will kick off his 2016 Autumn Carnival campaign in the Group 3 $150,000 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 6.
The 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes winner was nominated for the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill this Saturday but father and son training partnership of Peter and Paul Snowden elected to give the three year old an extra week to prepare him for his Autumn Carnival debut.
Instead of tackling weight for age company in the Expressway Stakes this weekend, Pride Of Dubai will line up against his own age group under set weights and penalties conditions in the Eskimo Prince Stakes on Saturday week.
Pride Of Dubai has been progressing nicely since he was forced to miss the 2015 Spring Carnival because of some bone bruising in his near hind fetlock joint and has been to the barrier trials twice for a win over 838m at Randwick on January 12 followed by a fourth over 800m at Warwick Farm on January 25.
“It is just good to have him back,” Paul Snowden told Racing Ahead.
“He has had a long lay-off and a horse of his ability is going to race at a high level.
“We need to have him pretty well up to the mark and ready to go.”
Pride Of Dubai was one of the star two year olds during the 2015 Autumn Carnival with wins in the Group 1 $1m Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and in the Group 1 $1m ATC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
The non acceptance of Pride Of Dubai has left eight runners in the Expressway Stakes with trainer Gerald Ryan also thinking of saving Saturday’s acceptor King’s Troop for the Eskimo Stakes next week.
Former North Queensland speedster Our Boy Malachi, now trained by Team Hawkes, will make his first Autumn Carnival appearance in the Expressway Stakes.
Our Boy Malachi will be ridden by Tommy Berry and has drawn barrier four in the eight horse field while Joe Pride’s Group 1 winning sprinter Tiger Tees has drawn the rails.