Trainer Mick Price has three of the six runners in the Carlyon Cup tomorrow and rates imported galloper Pakal his best winning chance in the Group 3 event.
Pakal performed consistently during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, winning the Legacy 2013 Badge Appeal Handicap (1600m) and the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m), and according to Price has returned in good condition; finishing second behind Angola in a barrier trial over 1550 metres at Cranbourne last Thursday.
“Pakal probably has a winning chance in the race,” Price told Racing Ahead this morning.
“He goes good under these sort of circumstances when he is a little bit underdone.
“He had a nice trial and hit the line well.
“He is pretty right and he is going to finish pretty close.”
Imported stayer Bit Of Hell will also be representing Price in the Group 3 event and will be having his first race start since he was gelded at the end of his spring campaign.
Price is hopeful that ‘the ultimate gear change’ will help Bit Of Hell raced more consistently during his autumn preparation, but does not expect the son of Hurricane Run to finish in front of Pakal in the Carlyon Cup this weekend.
“He only had a 1200 metre trial and I think that he is underdone,” Price said.
“Pakal usually has him covered and they worked over the course proper over 1200 meters on Tuesday and Pakal had him covered there.
“I don’t expect Bit Of Hell to finish in front of Pakal.
“Bit Of Hell will run in the same sort of races, but this is the new gelded version.
“He lost his consistency and was a very frustrated stallion last time; so I think he will be more consistent.
“It will be interesting to see how he comes up.”
Price’s Carlyon Cup squad is rounded out by five-year-old mare Anagold, who performed consistently without winning during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
Anagold finished second in the Sofitel Girls’ Day Out Handicap (2000m) at Flemington on September 7 and was third in the Listed Ansett Classic (2415m), but Price believes that the daughter of Anabaa will need more racing under her belt before she returns to her best form.
“It is a nice race to kick her off in, but she probably just needs a bit of racing,” Price said.
“She is a bit of a wet-tracker too.”
Pakal is currently favourite in Carlyon Cup betting markets from Chase The Rainbow ($3.60) and Star Rolling ($3.60).