Classy gelding Terravista is a chance to be given his first opportunity at Listed level in the Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Terravista has had just five starts since making his debut with a dominant victory in the Australian Turf Club Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm on April 3 earlier this year but has progressed through the grades nicely during his spring campaign.
The Captain Rio gelding returned to racing with a one and a half-length victory over Good Job Bro and Wordly Impact in the Thinc Handicap (1000m) at the Randwick Kensington track on October 23 and he made it two wins on the trot with another good performance in the Darley Bush Fire Support Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
Terravista stepped up in grade again to contest the Time Thief At Darley Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday and did enough to suggest to trainer Joseph Pride that he was ready for his black type racing debut in the Festival Stakes.
Pride is wary about backing up the lightly-raced galloper twice in just seven days and told TVN that he will wait as long as possible before deciding whether the full-brother of Group 3 winner Tiger Tees will take his place in the final field.
“He has pulled up as good as we could have hoped, I just want to see him do some light work tomorrow before I make my final decision whether we run,” Pride said.
“It hasn’t made it easy with RISA being down, I’d like to have a look at the nominations and get a better understanding what is likely to be in the race.”
Nominations for the Festival Stakes have still not been made public but one confirmed runner is Chris Waller-trained Said Com, who is chasing his first win this preparation after finishing second behind Ninth Legion in the Wadalba Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 16.
Said Com has been competitive at Group 1 level, finishing second behind Mosheen in the 2012 Randwick Guineas (1600m), but has been unable to record a black type victory after falling narrowly short in the 2012 Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m), Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) and Listed Civic Stakes (1350m).
The 2012 edition of the Festival Stakes was won by Malavio who went on to win the Group 3 Tramway Stakes (1400m) and perform well at Group 1 level during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.