Pride Of Dubai will make his first appearance at the races in almost ten months when he contests the 2016 Eskimo Prince Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday and co-trainer Peter Snowden is confident that the two-time Group 1 winner will take a great deal of improvement from his first-up run.
Pride Of Dubai stamped himself as one of the most exciting horses in the country when he took out both the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) last autumn, but he missed the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival due to bruising to a bone in a hind joint.
The Street Cry colt has taken a great deal of benefit from a lengthy rehabilitation process and Snowden is happy with his condition, but the leading trainer said that the three-year-old will take a great deal of benefit from his run in the 2016 Eskimo Prince Stakes.
“He is very, very fresh and well in himself,” Snowden told RSN.
“He is carrying a fair bit of condition, he has had a good long rehab process to get to this point and he has had two barrier trials, but he is lacking that race practice and that will start on Saturday.
“His work was good this morning, but he still continues to have a bit of a blow and he needs racing now to top that last bit off and get him in good condition again.”
Pride Of Dubai upstaged a strong field to win a barrier trial over 838 metres at Royal Randwick on January 12 and he produced another good effort when fourth over 800 metres at Warwick Farm on January 25.
Snowden said that he has been happy with the barrier trial performances of Pride Of Dubai, but he admits that the colt has been a touch on the fresh side and he is hopeful that he will calm down a touch after the Eskimo Prince Stakes.
“They have been good,” Snowden said.
“They have been a bit fresh, he has been up on the speed and leading and it is not like him to race as keen as what he has.
“He has been up there leading, which is not him and it tells you that the horse is just a bit eager.
“With a little bit of racing that will no doubt come down and he will relax and get back to his old self.
“We will see a better horse if he is able to do that.”
The 2016 Eskimo Prince Stakes field will be released tomorrow and Pride Of Dubai is set to take on a quality field after a string of Group 1 winners were included in the nominations that were released yesterday.