Kembla Grange trainer Paul Murray said the signs were promising towards the end of the four-year-old’s last campaign and declared the penny had finally dropped after he held off Whobegotyou to win by a half-neck in Saturday’s 1400m weight-for-age feature.
Typhoon Tracy, who was trying to win her sixth race in a row, suffered her first defeat and was three-quarters of a length away third.
Murray said the plan was to give Predatory Pricer experience racing in the Melbourne direction before contesting the bigger races, with the primary target the 2009 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 24. Predatory Pricer has however also firmed as the favourite of the 2009 Caulfield Cup field.
“Last autumn he was a three-year-old doing things wrong still but coming into the AJC Derby he really switched on and then at weight-for-age (in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes) he really switched on again,” Murray said.
“Now the penny has dropped and I think we are in for very good spring.”
A half-brother to champion sprinter Takeover Target, Predatory Pricer was considered for the Golden Slipper Stakes as a juvenile but has always shown great staying promise.
He was twice Group One-placed when second in the AJC Spring Champion Stakes and the third to Roman Emperor in the AJC Australian Derby in April.
The Liston was his first run since finishing fourth in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Anzac Day.
Predatory Pricer impressed Steven King when he trialled at Cranbourne recently and his Liston win came as no surprise.
“He feels like a great horse,” King said. “He is very strong.”
Predatory Pricer and Whobegotyou are both sons of Street Cry and have the Cox Plate as their ultimate showdown.
Trainer Mark Kavanagh said Whobegotyou, who is the Cox Plate favourite, would take a lot of improvement from his Liston performance.
“He ran above expectations and he has pulled up with so much improvement in him,” Kavanagh said.
Kavanagh will decide between the Group Two Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 and another clash with Predatory Pricer in the Group Two Makybe Diva Stake (1600m) at Flemington on September 5 as Whobegotyou’s next run.
Jockey Luke Nolen said Typhoon Tracy was gallant in defeat after he was forced to make his move earlier than planned.
“She had a rest early and in the middle stages but she had to open up and chase sooner than I wanted her to,” Nolen said.
“She is going to take a great deal of improvement out of the run.”
Article by Robert Windmill Aapracing
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