Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride will still be left with a strong chance to win the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick today with Tigers Tees, his only representative after he was forced to scratch Steps In Time this morning.
Pride had to scratch Steps In Times after the Group 1 winning mare showed signs of soreness in her one of her hind heels and he had no choice but to keep her at home in her box.
“Some bruising on her hind heels so she is just not comfortable enough this morning and I am not going to risk a mare of her value when she is not one hundred per cent,” Pride told Racing HQ Saturday this morning.
“Just noticed it this morning with her leg up in the air, heel up in the air so I am not sure if maybe she stood on something, doesn’t look like an abscess, something to work on anyway.”
A decision about Steps In Time’s immediate future is still up in the air with the Brisbane Winter Carnival an option before she heads off to stud at the end of the season.
“No decision has been made there. The Brisbane carnival is up coming, no decision has been made. Will Sit down with the guys and have a good chat. She has achieved the goal we really wanted to get with her in winning a Group 1, winning the Coolmore, but it is still a fair way off the breeding season.”
Pride was able to secure a Group 1 win with Steps In Time at her first run for the stable when she led all of the way to take out the $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 22.
The Danehill Dancer mare then failed on a heavy track when thirteenth to Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick two weeks ago.
But the scratching of Steps In Time has enhanced the chances of her stablemate Tiger Tees who now appears to be able to lead the weight for age field easily as well as being comfortable on the rain affected track.
The Randwick track has been rated a slow 6 this morning after receiving 5.8mm in the last twenty-four hours.
“He is a really hard horse to get past. You look at his form and you probably say 1400m is at the top of his distance range. He had only had one go at it in the Stradbroke and he pulled up sore after that,” Pride said.
“I think the difference in today’s race is that there doesn’t look to be as much pressure. He will roll along, he doesn’t need to be held right up. He is a very hard horse to get past. He is in a great vain of form.”
Hugh Bowman replaces Nash Rawiller on Tiger Tees and he can see everything falling into place for the six year who is racing in top form.
Two starts back Tiger Tees scored a narrow win with Rawiller in the Group 1 $400,000 Bloodstock.com.au Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 29 before running fourth in the T J Smith Stakes.
Bowman said that the scratching of the front running Steps In Time opens the way up for Tiger Tees to go to the front and dictate the race.
“I was pleased to hear the news come through,” Bowman said of the scratching.
“I don’t know how I ended up getting the ride on this horse. Nash must have had a booking for the other one, because he won the Galaxy on him the other day.”
“Anyway it is what it is. Look, a little bit of rain around yesterday wouldn’t have done his chances any harm either.”
“The 1400m, Joe Pride, he is very good at getting these horses to race at their best when it counts. Especially with the scratchings, it has opened it right up with him.”
The scratching of Steps In Time has left the All Aged Stakes with only eight runners following the withdrawal of the Gerald Ryan trained Snitzerland and Victorian filly Politeness earlier in the week.
Rebel Dane remains the short priced $2.10 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Chris Waller trainer Weary at $5.50 with Tiger Tees on the third line of betting at $8.50.
Shamexpress along with Rawiller’s mount Hana’s Goal share the next line of betting at $10 ahead of Atlanta and Woodbine at $15 and Bennetta at $18.