Trainer Mick Price is thrilled with the condition of Hardham ahead of Saturday’s 2016 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield, and has revealed the colt is on trial for a berth in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney in two weeks’ time.
Hardham began his racing career under the guidance of the recently-retired Peter Moody, but was transferred to the care of Price for his 2016 Spring Carnival campaign and beyond.
Price told Racing Ahead that he was thrilled with the effort mustered by the son of Redoute’s Choice when third in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) first-up a fortnight ago, and he will strongly consider a berth in the Golden Rose should he perform to expectations in the McNeil Stakes 2016.
“That’s a nice race for him,” Price said.
“He’s not a fast 1200m horse, that’s not what we think of him. We’re looking forward to getting to 1400m or a mile.
“If he wins we’ll have a good solid think about the Golden Rose. If he doesn’t, we’ll keep him here and hopefully end up in the Caulfield Guineas that way.
“I didn’t want to be messing around with him before this Saturday, but depending on how he goes and if we make a ploy for Sydney, then the open is inside grass here.
“I’ve still got that up my sleeve, but he’s in very good order and we kept him fresh for the 1200m and hopefully he can finish right in the money.”
Trialling well in the lead-up to his competitive debut, Hardham immediately stamped himself as one to watch with a strong performance for success in the Cross Electrics Maiden Plate (1200m) at Pakenham on March 3rd, before immediately returning to the paddock.
Jumping from the gates well in the Vain Stakes, jockey Damien Oliver elected to take a position off pace with Hardham, but the horse immediately responded when asked for an extra effort and stretched out to the line.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2016 McNeil Stakes odds, for which Hardham can be taken at a quote of $5 for success.
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