Terravista beat Exosphere in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm yesterday and trainer Joe Pride is hopeful that his star sprinter can do the same when the duo do battle in the 2016 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington on February 20.
It was Exosphere that dominated the headlines when he flew home in the final stages of the 804 metres barrier trial, but Terravista was still able to hold on and claim victory.
Pride admits that Exosphere was very impressive in the barrier trial, but he is confident that Terravista will take more benefit out of the trial than his rival and he believes that his galloper has more positives in his favour ahead of the Group 1 Black Caviar Lighting Stakes (1000m).
“Going forward if he lines up in the Lightning like I expect him too I feel like we would derive more benefit from the point of yesterday to the race I would think,” Pride told Racing Ahead.
“The other thing that I think we have in our favour is that we have straight track form whereas Exosphere was a bit disappointing down the straight.
“It is nice to be involved in the clashes, but only when you win.
“It is hard to line them up really.
“Exosphere hasn’t raced out of his age group, but when you watch that trial yesterday 99 out of 100 would take Exosphere to win the race, but that is a long way from the level of pressure that these horses are going to experience in a Group 1.”
Terravista generally saves his best performances for race day and Pride often struggles to get a read on the son of Captain Rio ahead of his return to racing, but the Warwick Farm-based trainer was pleased with the early speed shown by the Group 1 winner in the barrier trial and he is confident that is a good sign ahead of the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.
“He is a little bit of a tricky horse to get a line on because in his trials and his track work he tends to be lazy, but Hughie was pleased with him,” Pride said.
“He is not a flash trialer, but I was quite pleased with the speed that he showed early and he finished off nice.
“It was typical of him and if it changes I would be worried.
“The one sign I like to see when he is trialing and going well is that he jumps well and has some early speed.
“That is where he is at, at the moment, and it is always a good indication.
“He is on par with where he was last campaign and that is where he needs to be.
“It looked a really impressive trial.”
Pride has never previously had a runner in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes and the race will be Terravista’s second start over 1000 metres following his victory in the Thinc Handicap (1000m) at Randwick in October of 2013.