Terravista will take his place in the 2014 Darley Classic field and trainer Joe Pride is confident that the talented galloper can match it with the best sprinters in Australia at Flemington on Saturday.
Terravista started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with comfortable wins in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at the same venue on September 20 before he was given a maiden opportunity against the leading sprinters in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
The Captain Rio gelding was well-backed in the lead-up to the race, but he was one of several horses in the field that had no luck in running and he finished fifth – less than half a length behind Lankan Rupee.
Pride said that Terravista had pulled up with a few niggling issues directly after the Manikato Stakes, but the leading Sydney trainer told Racing Ahead that the five-year-old had recovered quickly and is in great condition heading into the 2014 Darley Classic.
“He is great and he has arrived in good order in the early hours of the morning at Caulfield,” Pride said.
“I am really pleased with him.
“He came home a little bit battered and bruised for obvious reasons; he had a little bit of a torrid run there and suffered a bit of interference like a lot of the runners, but being a good athlete he has managed to get himself through that quiet quickly.
“The horse is in good order, it is well documented that I think he is the top sprinter and his run the other day was as good as anything in the race.
“I am still considering those horses to be the benchmark and I am hoping that he can do it again tomorrow.”
Terravista is one of only a few horses in the 2014 Darley Classic field that is yet to have a race start down the famous Flemington straight and Pride admits that he has no idea how the gelding will handle his first opportunity in straight racing.
Terravista’s stablemate Rain Affair failed to handle the Flemington straight when he finished sixth in the 2012 edition of the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m), but Tiger Tees has performed strongly in all three of his race starts at the venue and Pride believes that it is impossible to predict what sort of horses will relish straight racing.
“I think it is an impossible thing to answer and you just have to give them a go at it,” Pride said.
“I will say that he likes open spaces, so that probably gives him a good chance of handling it.”
Terravista is currently available at 2014 Darley Classic odds of $11, while Chautauqua ($2.30) remains a clear favourite from Lankan Rupee ($5.50) and Slade Power ($6).