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Herald Sun Form Guide : October 23rd 2009
un.com.au Herald Sun, Friday, October 23, 2009 73 + + Pride and passion: little more than 18 months after Joe Pride (left) took over training Vision and Power, the gelding powered to victory in the Doncaster Handicap (top) at Randwick in April, setting him on course for Moonee Valley tomorrow -- a mission the seven-year-old appears to be thriving on (above) at Flemington this week. Main picture: DARREN TINDALE in Vision ascent horses, recently Miss Marielle and Sophistication. For one reason or another they had lost their way,'' Pride said. ''Every case is different. That is why I run a boutique stable as I can give them greater attention than what they would get in a bigger stable. ''On the other side I am sure there are horses in my stable who would do better in another stable. You've just got to be prepared to give your horse a second chance.'' Pride said he enjoyed training at Warwick Farm, which he described as a great facility . In addition to the main training track, there is what he calls the polo track, which is essential to his operation. ''It's on the other side of the racetrack and it used to be a polo field,'' Pride said. ''It's a 1500m sand track without any rails and only six or seven horses go round at any one time. It's a nice place to get horses to relax in their work and if they do that then you get the best out of them.'' Last season Pride finished fourth in Sydney's trainers' premiership, with 43 wins at a strike rate of a winner every 4.5 starters. ''The only trainers to beat me were the ones you would expect --- (Gai) Waterhouse, (Peter) Snowden and (Chris) Waller --- so I was quite satisfied,'' he said. Pride is in such a powerful position he can now screen the horses offered to him. ''I've got a really good band of owners. I am inundated with offers. I will take on new horses but they have to be very nice horses,'' he said. Pride, 36, said he was comfortable with 35-40 horses. ''I've got three kids. I've got a massive commitment to my job and to increase my numbers would only increase my stress. I like to be in control,'' he said. Pride is hoping for a wet track for the Cox Plate with Vision And Power. ''Getting the cut out of the ground was essential for his improvement and it is essential to his chances on Saturday,'' Pride said. Moraitis to let Power take centre stage DON'T expect owner Nick Moraitis to reprise his memorable walk down the straight after Might And Power's victory in the 1998 Cox Plate, shaking hands and high-fiving punters leaning over the fence, should Vision And Power win tomorrow. ''Might And Power was one of the greats of all time,'' Moraitis said. ''He will live forever in the annals of racing and the public just loved him. ''I was swept up in my emotion and their emotion that day. They gave him so much support I thought I should acknowledge it. ''He was the people's horse. Only two horses in the history of racing have won a Caulfield Cup, a Melbourne Cup then a Cox Plate the next year --- that's him and Rising Fast.'' Might And Power propelled Moraitis to national prominence, winning 15 races and $5,226,286. ''He always had a leg problem. We never saw the best of him,'' said Moraitis, who added there was an aspect to Might And Power in the naming of Vision And Power. ''Might And Power was named after the expression 'the might and power of Jesus Christ', which was used at my granddaughter's first Holy Communion. Vision And Power was a continuation of that.'' Moraitis said he could hardly believe that Vision And Power was running in a Cox Plate. ''It's a stroke of luck. I decided to give him another try with this astute young trainer who has a knack of turning older horses around. I'm happy with the result. It's just another addition to the mystery of life,'' he said. Might And Power is retired at Living Legends at Greenvale. Michael Manley Training a weight off Con's mind Ray Thomas IF CON Karakatsanis had his wish, he would be riding not training Black Piranha for the Tatts Cox Plate tomorrow. But the road Karakatsanis has travelled to the Moonee Valley showpiece took an unex- pected turn two years ago. It was when mother nature had her say and a young man's destiny changed forever. Karakatsanis, 24, had wanted tobeajockeyforaslongashe can remember. In fact, he rode for seven years, ignoring the pain barrier even though his body had been tortured by wasting. This is what happens to a young man with the heart and mind of a jockey but a physique more akin to a rugby league player. The realisation his days as a jockey were over came when he was driving to the Hawkesbury races, west of Sydney, in 2007. ''I remember weighing myself after trackwork on a Tuesday morning and I was 66kg. I had to ride at Hawkesbury two days later at 59kg,'' he said. ''So for the next two days, I just lived in the sauna and had nothing to eat or drink. ''I got down to 59kg but driving to the races that Thursday I don't think I've ever felt so sick in my life.'' The wasting had left Karakatsanis so physically and mentally drained, he took three days off after the meeting to recover. When he returned to trackwork the following Mon- day, he weighed in about 70kg. ''I knew then I had to give it away,'' Karakatsanis said. ''As soon as I quit riding, my weight went up to about 80kg in two months, where it stabilised. ''I'm at my natural weight now. To think I had to be about 25kg lighter just to get a ride.'' Despite limited opportun- ities, Karakatsanis was a talented jockey, riding about 150 winners. Although he has made every- one sit up and take notice of his training skills in the past 18 months, particularly with the big-race successes of stable star Black Piranha and News Alert, Karakatsanis admitted he still yearned for his riding days. ''I miss it a lot. I would love to still be riding,'' he said. ''I envy my mates like Tye (Angland) and Jay (Ford) who are still riding. I grew up with them and would love to be out there competing alongside them. ''If I was thrown a lifeline and could ride again, I would take it with both hands --- but it's not meant to be.'' With his riding career over, Karakatsanis had a decision to make. He didn't want to leave the racing industry, so training was the next logical step. His father, Tony, was a lead- ing Rosehill trainer for many years and also raced some top trotters. Karakatsanis followed in his footsteps by taking out a trainer's licence in the winter of 2007. The equine influenza out- break then shut down NSW racing during the spring carni- val and Karakatsanis was left wondering if he had made the right career choice. ''I've got to admit that for the first 12 months or so I found training very hard and nearly called it quits,'' he said. ''But eventually I got a routine going and started to work with some nice horses. ''I have about 20-25 horses in training now and I'm enjoying it a lot more these days. ''Although I'm happy with my stable numbers, if a big owner came along and wanted to give me a few horses, of course I'd take them and give it a go.'' COX PLATE
October 22nd 2009
October 24th 2009