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Price ponders path for Eagle-bound Illation

3 minute read

Unbeaten 4YO could resume in any of three races on August 27

ILLATION. Picture: Racing Photos.

Mick Price is delighted with the way Illation is going ahead of what could be a lucrative four-year-old season, but that does not mean he is not providing the trainer with some headaches.

An official rating of 83 means Price, who trains in partnership with Michael Kent Jnr, has to be flexible with his planning for the unbeaten son of So You Think.

Price would love to put him on the same path as I'm Thunderstruck, who won the Golden Eagle after resuming in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, but he is conscious of the need to gather a few more ratings points.

"I'm thinking and hoping Illation can be a Group 1 horse but I can't take the same path (as I'm Thunderstruck) I don't think because of his rating," Price said.

"I'm Thunderstruck ran third in the Group 1 then he ran in the Toorak and three weeks later (won the Golden Eagle).

"It would nice to be able to do that but I'm thinking I can't get a run with him."

It means Illation could resume in any one of three 1400-metre races at Caulfield on August 27. Price is leaning to starting in the Open Handicap but is aware he may be forced into the benchmark 78.

There is also the option of the Group 1 Memsie Stakes for the galloper who backed up a breathtaking debut win with a pair of Listed victories in Adelaide in autumn.

The entire showed he was on track for whichever race he goes to with a jumpout at Cranbourne on Monday morning when he worked home stylishly down the outside.

"Beautiful," was how Price described the workout. "He was around the outside of them and seemed to handle the (Heavy) ground. He's going good."

I'm Thunderstruck was in the same jumpout and encountered limited galloping room late in the hit-out but is on track to resume in the Memsie Stakes.

Price's plan is to then take in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), Underwood Stakes (1800m) and The Might And Power (2000m) – all Group 1 races at weight-for-age – en route to the $5 million Cox Plate (2040m).

"More racing, less work," Price said of the busy campaign. "He's a big, strong horse – I think he's a weight-for-age horse, I think he'll make a weight-for-age horse – so that'll be his program.

"He's beautiful and sound and going great."

Price and Kent also had Group 1 The Goodwood winner Lombardo trial impressively ahead of his return to racing in the Group 3 Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) with the Memsie Stakes pencilled in second-up.

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