Trainer Joseph Pride has revealed that progressive gelding Terravista is set to make his debut at Group 1 level in the 2014 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on March 29.
Terravista has recorded six wins from his eight career starts and has been in outstanding form since beginning his 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign; scoring impressive wins in both the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 22 and the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm last Saturday.
Pride has been delighted with the progress that Terravista has made this preparation and believes he is ready for a maiden tilt at Group 1 level; with the George Ryder Stakes to be the Captain Rio gelding’s final race start before he contests the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
“I am pretty sure that it is going to be the Ryder,” Pride told Racing Ahead.
“It would take something out of the ordinary to convince me not to run him in that.
“Originally the plan was to run in the Ajax, because I thought we would be trying to qualify and it is a qualifying race, but now that we are qualified that takes a little bit of pressure off the horse and the spacing of three weeks to his next run and then two into the Doncaster is better than the other way around.
“He is a big gross horse who does very well between his runs and I think that spacing between runs is ideal.”
Pride admits that he has been surprised by just how well that Terravista has performed this campaign, but is confident that the four-year-old still has plenty of improvement ahead of him and believes that this is his best opportunity to win a race like the Doncaster Mile.
“The horse had done very well,” Pride said
“He has won his first two starts back in Group 3 company and he just keeps improving.
“This is what we see with good horses; you lift the bar and they keep lifting their performance.
“He is a very progressive horse, he has fantastic acceleration and clearly his best is yet to come.
“He won’t get a better chance to run a mile then he will with no weight on his back.”
Pride is chasing his second victory in the George Ryder Stakes after winning the 2009 edition of the race with Vision And Power.