Trainer Joe Pride has revealed that the 2015 Stradbroke Handicap could be a potential target for progressive gelding Craftiness after he recorded a third straight win in the Tab.Com.Au Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Craftiness started his racing career with two wins at Hawkesbury under the care of Guy Walter and he made his debut for the Pride stable with a close third behind Religify in the Sportsyear Handicap (1000m) at Warwick Farm on November 12.
The Starcraft gelding returned to winning form in the Multi Handicap (1100m) at Canterbury on December 3 and led from start to finish to win the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on December 20 before he replicated that effort on the weekend.
Pride has been thrilled with the form of Craftiness this preparation and he said after the four-year-olds third win in a row that he believes the promising gelding is capable of being competitive in a race like the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap, which will be run over 1350 metres at Doomben during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
“I’m thinking Stradbroke,” Pride told the media after the race.
“They’ve changed it to the 1350-metres at Doomben and it’s just a thought in my mind and it’s been there for a while.
“He’s exciting and you can tell by the time he’s ran today.
“That’s still a long way off and he’s still got a few steps to take yet, but I just think he’s a real progressive horse.
“It will all be found out next preparation.
“I just wanted to see him do that again today to prove it was no fluke.
“You just want to see him put good performances together.”
Leading Sydney jockey Blake Shinn has ridden Craftiness in the majority of his race starts and controlled the Tab.Com.Au Handicap throughout on the four-year-old; with the talented hoop giving the promising gelding an easy time in the final stages of the race.
Shinn said that he has been thrilled to see Craftiness improve as he gets further into his racing career and he is confident that the horse will continue to improve ahead of his autumn preparation.
“It’s beautiful to see him taking nice steps forward,” Shinn said.
“It was blistering time, he was so focused and you how excited I am about him because he was in control the whole way.
“I’m pleased to see him come on mentally because you’ve got to see horses continue to get stronger in the mind and he’s coped with the race day pressure.”
Craftiness has recorded five wins from his six career starts and has accumulated over $150,000 in prizemoney for connections.