Pride could have 3 runners in QTC Cup

Top Sydney trainer Joe Pride could have three runners in the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Millions QTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 30 with Kuro, Craftiness and Ball Of Muscle.

Mick Dittman Plate winner Kuro could be one of three runners trainer Joe Pride will saddle up in the QTC Cup at Doomben. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Mick Dittman Plate winner Kuro could be one of three runners trainer Joe Pride will saddle up in the QTC Cup at Doomben. Photo by Daniel Costello.

Kuro returned to the winners circle with the blinkers on with a gutsy win in the Listed $100,000 IPG Connect Mick Dittman Plate (1200m) at Doomben last Saturday and Pride is keen to return to Queensland for the QTC Cup.

The Denman colt had to do it at both ends after Craig Williams elected to go forward from an outside alley and Kuro stuck on well in the straight to hold f off the challenges of Sarajevo and Deiheros.

“Obviously he had to do it a little bit hard from a wide barrier but more than pleased with his performance in getting back into the winner’s circle,” Pride told Racing Ahead.

“At this stage just seeing how he pulled up, he seems to be good, there is a good chance we will head back to Queensland on the thirtieth and run in the QTC Cup.”

Kuro has showed plenty of ability to date and Saturday’s win was his sixth from twelve starts.

While Pride was very pleased with the winning effort of Kuro, the Warwick Farm trainer was disappointed with the weekend’s performance of Craftiness.

Craftiness was sent out the $2.60 favourite for the $85,000 One Solutions Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill but failed to be beat a runner home in the twelve horse field.

The Starcraft four year old had to do plenty of work in the early stages from the outside gate to take up a forward position but was still planted three wide going into the first corner.

Tim Clark did find the fence for a short time down the side of the track but the gelding was under pressure at the top of the straight and was a spent force at the 300m mark.

But Pride is willing to forget Craftiness’ only unplaced run from nine starts and will give him a barrier trial on May 23 before heading north to Queensland for the QTC Cup.

“I’m not sure what to make of the run, very disappointing. At this stage he will trial on the twenty-third and go back up for that QTC Cup as well,” Pride said.

“I think we can forgive him one bad run. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with him so. It was pretty average surface there Saturday, first go at the 1350m. He just didn’t to seem to be in the race from the start. “

“He would have to trial very well, and if he trials really well he will go up for that and also I would take Ball Of Muscle up for the same race. It’s probably a bit of overkill in that race but it’s kind of the only sprint on for those horses.”

Ball Of Muscle hasn’t missed a place from twelve starts and Pride will send the four year old back to Queensland for the QTC Cup following his second to Srikandi in the Group 2 $200,000 SMEG Victory Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on April 25.

The Gold Coast run was Ball Of Muscle’s second this time in after being runner up to Hard Romp over 1000m down the Flemington straight in an Open Handicap on April 11.

“Terrific. Really pleased with him. He had two really good runs back in,” Pride said.

“He was beaten by Srikandi, favourite for the Stradbroke, gave her weight that day and I think he is going to be pretty well placed in the QTC Cup.”

Both Kuro and Ball Of Muscle have returned home to their Warwick Farm stables and Pride said he preferred to travelled his horses back and forward from Queensland as opposed to setting up a Winter base interstate.

“I’ve done that with all of mine. I moved horses interstate for their runs and brought them home. It has worked successfully for my stable and that’s the way we like to do it,” Pride said.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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