The injury-enforced retirement of champion sprinter Takeover Target has opened the door for his half-brother Predatory Pricer to step out of his famous brother’s shadow.
And trainer Paul Murray has no doubt his two-time Group One placegetter is up to the task.
Predatory Pricer will resume in the Group Two 2009 JJ Liston Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday, kicking off a spring campaign Murray hopes will culminate in a shot at the 2009 Caulfield Cup and 2009 Cox Plate double.
Murray worked closely with the likes of multiple Group One winners Universal Prince and Victory Vein during his time as foreman for his trainer father Bede and he has declared Predatory Pricer better than them both.
“I had a lot to do with both of them and I think he’s right up there and probably even a bit better than those two,” Murray said.
While Takeover Target excelled over the short courses, Predatory Pricer’s future is over staying trips.
Arguably the hard luck tale of the autumn, the entire was desperately unlucky when he flashed home for third to Roman Emperor in the AJC Australian Derby and again when fourth in Pompeii Ruler’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
He will campaign exclusively in Melbourne this spring and while he is yet to race in the anti-clockwise direction he did impress in his three length victory over Here De Angels in a barrier trial at Cranbourne last week with Steven King aboard.
The four-year-old is yet to run a place in two first-up runs but Murray is quietly confident he can run a cheeky race in the Liston.
“I think he will actually and Steven seems pretty positive about Saturday given how he felt in the trial,” Murray said.
Murray has a tentative program mapped out for Predatory Pricer who is likely to have his second run in the Memsie Stakes on August 29 but the ultimate goal is the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17 and the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley a week later.
Murray has based himself at Ballarat, about 100km north west of Melbourne, hoping the quieter surrounds will simulate the environment his horses are trained at Kembla Grange on the NSW south coast.
Joining Predatory Pricer in Melbourne are three-year-old filly Phenomenal Lass, who won two of her six starts as a juvenile, and Beautiful Timing who dead-heated for second to Centover in the Magic Millions Country Cup in January.
Beautiful Timing will run at Geelong on Friday while Murray says Phenomenal Lass is still three weeks away from a return.
Article by Mandy Cottell Aapracing
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