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Herald Sun Form Guide : October 16th 2009
un.com.au Herald Sun, Friday, October 16, 2009 73 + + CAULFIELD CUP Proven: Steven King will ride Predatory Pricer. Pricer looks right to King Michael Manley FOR the past two Sydney autumn carnivals, jockey Steven King has studied the feature three-year-old races with an eye for the spring. In autumn last year he identified Littorio as the horse he wanted to ride in the 2008 spring carnival. Littorio went on to win the Turnbull Stakes and finish fifth in the Caulfield Cup. This year he again monitored the Sydney carnival closely and selected Predatory Pricer as the horse he wanted to ride. Such is King's standing in the industry, Predatory Pricer's connections jumped at the opportunity to have him on board for the spring carnival. ''I'm an experienced jockey who's been there. I'm not a stable jockey so when I say I'm riding your horse I will stick with it,'' King said. ''When you get my commitment I become part of the team and will stick through thick and thin, which I think is a great advantage.'' After Predatory Pricer had over-raced in the Underwood Stakes, King talked through the problem with trainer Paul Murray and recommended the blinkers go off. ''I think it helped in the Turnbull Stakes. I think it is important we work together as a team. I speak to Paul once or twice a day about him,'' he said. King has also ridden the horse several times in trackwork. ''It's just getting to know the horse, which will help him to relax on race day,'' he said. Murray is more than happy to have had King aboard for the spring. ''As a jockey he has very kind hands and he has the runs on the board. His views on the horse are very important,'' Murray said. King said Predatory Pricer was one of the leading chances in tomorrow's Caulfield Cup. ''He's proven at weight- for-age level, which is a huge bonus, and he's dropping back to handicap level,'' King said. ''I'm proven at this level. There's nothing I have to prove to anyone. I get the job done and my experience counts.'' g I'm loving it: trainer Paul Murray is enjoying the ride as Predatory Pricer takes on the best in the land this spring. Tomorrow is his star's biggest challenge yet, the Caulfield Cup. Victory for Predatory Pricer and jockey Steven King will go a long way to giving the four-year-old the same acclaim as his half brother Takeover Target (below). Pictures: DARREN McNAMARA at Canterbury on July 26, 2008. It proved an anti-climax as he got squeezed early in the race and finished seventh of eight. Predatory Pricer then went to Kembla Grange. Although he raced greenly and gave away a huge start, he managed to get up in the final stride to win his maiden. From there it was into Group and Listed races and he made his presence felt, winning his fourth start, the 1400m Listed Ming Dynasty Quality. He then won the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) before finishing second in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) to Sousa. In the autumn, although Predatory Pricer did not win in six starts, he ran close-up thirds in the 1500m Phar Lap Stakes and 2400m AJC Derby and was fourth in the 2000m Queen Elizabeth Stakes. ''He was unlucky in the autumn but a lot of that was due to his immaturity, which is still an issue,'' Murray said. He said Predatory Pricer still had a habit of over-racing. ''Probably the only time we have got him to settle was when he returned to racing when he sprinted home to win the Liston Stakes first-up,'' Murray said. ''My aim is for him to settle worse than midfield in the Caul- field Cup so he can use his sprint, something we have not seen much of due to his over-racing.'' After winning the Liston, Predatory Pricer was held up for a run and over-raced when sev- enth in the Makybe Diva Stakes. He also raced untractably when a close-up third in the Underwood Stakes. After talks with jockey Steven King, the blinkers were removed last start. He finished second to Efficient in the Turnbull Stakes, with Dwayne Dunn replacing the suspended King. ''Even in the Turnbull, when he hit the front he floated a bit and still wanted to stargaze,'' Murray said. Predatory Pricer is a stallion. Murray can only think how good he might be if he was gelded, but he knows the four-year-old is too valuable for that. Predatory Pricer has been the subject of some big offers, with speculation of a sum of about $30 million. Two of the usual suspects head the queue to buy him, Darley and Nathan Tinkler's Patinack Farm. The most recent bid was an unusual one, coming from agents for legendary Irish trainer Dermot Weld. Murray has been told by the owners not to worry as they intend to race him until he is five or six before retiring him to stud. The owners also told Murray he had to move to Melbourne to train the horse for the duration of the spring. Initially Murray applied for Predatory Pricer and two stable- mates to be trained at Caulfield, but he was knocked back. He then settled on Ballarat and moved the three horses to trainer Terry Kelly's on-course stables on July 27. ''It suits me. There's less hustle and bustle and that's how I like to train,'' Murray said. ''It's been a worthwhile move for me. It's also my first trip away with horses and I'm still learning the ropes. To do it here rather than in the city has been much better.'' Murray has not finished his connection with Shady Stream, dam of Takeover Target and Predatory Pricer. At Easter he bought a colt by Dubawi out of Shady Stream for $425,000 at the Sydney yearling sales, outbidding Janiak. ''I had an advantage as I knew the breeders were going to buy back half, but still I nearly fell over shaking while I made the final bid,'' Murray said. The two-year-old, named Wilful Default, is likely to make his debut soon. Murray also has the first foal, again by Dubawi, of Shady Steam's daughter Shady Henrietta. Murray hopes Predatory Pricer can carve his name into Australian racing history in the next eight days. ''He's a good back-up horse. One owner wanted to target the Caulfield Cup, the other owner the Cox Plate so I thought why not both?'' he said. ''I'm loving it being involved with a horse going into these big Group 1 races. Maybe one day they'll make a movie of him and call it Target Two.''
October 15th 2009
October 17th 2009