Joe Pride has been left irritated and dumbfounded after his dual Group 1 winner Vision And Power was left out of the field for this Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The experienced gelding could only get a spot as the emergency for the Group 1 weight-for-age feature after acceptances were declared for the 2000m event at Randwick.
Vision And Power won the George Ryder Stakes and Doncaster Mile in 2009 but despite poor recent form Pride says he’s working the best he has since those victories.
“I was surprised and I’m disappointed, the horse is ready to go,” Pride said.
“I just think it’s stupid rules that deny horses chances that when you look at a market, and I haven’t seen a market yet, but there’s five or six horses that there’s no way in the world they could beat him and he doesn’t get a run before them.
“If it was the Doncaster the week before he gets into the race ahead of three-quarters of the field and that’s done off the benchmark, so why have a benchmark?”
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes has a capacity of 14 runners with 15 flagging their intentions to run in the race.
The reason Vision And Power is languishing last on the list is because the ballot entry for both set weight and weight-for-age events runs off the average prize money earned by a horse over its last 10 starts.
Pride vented some of his frustrations with a call to Racing NSW after the field was released but he’s now got over the decision and is instead hoping wet weather may scare off at least one entry and let him sneak his way into the field.
While recently off the money the eight-year-old has impressive overall career stats with over $2 million alongside his name headlined by his 2009 Group 1 double.
His last run was a fifth placing in the Doncaster Mile Prelude over 1600m.
“His lead-up run was super,” Pride said.
“A wet track is the key, if he gets on a wet track there should be some scratchings, but I can’t count on it.”
Pride does have one guaranteed top hope in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes though with Sacred Choice at the head of the field after her impressive Doncaster Mile win last weekend.
Pride hinted after the victory that the mare could be winding down her racing career and another triumph could almost assure she’ll go to stud on a high.
“I’m happy with her and we’re going to give her a go at this race on Saturday and then make some decisions after that,” Pride said.