3 minute read
Trainer Joe Pride says there’s an art to riding Coal Crusher and he’s confident after three rides on the tough on pacer that jockey Tyler Schiller will be able to master it in Saturday’s $1m Newcastle Herald Hunter (1300m).
And he's sure, after getting very close to his Everest winner Think About It last start, he has the six-year-old on target to score a well overdue feature win.
"I won't say he's a quirky horse but he's a horse you have to understand the rhythms he gets into and the kind of tempo he's capable of going,'' Pride said.
"And have the faith you can go quite quickly and have a kick at the end, he's not a sit and sprint horse.
"We all sit there and criticise jockeys all the time but every horse is different. You can tell a jockey that but I think they need to feel it for themselves.
"I think he's ridden him better on each occasion. The first one at Warwick Farm he got it wrong, he took a sit, the second one was better and the other day was better again."
Coal Crusher, $6.50 with TAB on Thursday, won the Benchmark 88 1300m race on The Hunter card last year, he's won one race since and been Group 3 placed.
With 56.5kg in The Hunter he's paying for his consistency and he'll meet Mazu, a Group 1 winner and Everest placegetter, on the same weight terms as when he finished just over half a length ahead in the Giga Kick Stakes (1300m) after leading.
"I've had plenty of horses rated up around this mark but they are normally group winners, he's not and had quite a few opportunities to be one,'' Pride said.
"I didn't expect him to run quite that well in the Giga Kick. He obviously ran really well, Think About It didn't look like he progressed out of the Everest as I hoped.
"I'm assuming that margin between the two would be greater given what he's been able to achieve but nevertheless it was a good run from Coal Crusher.
"I wanted to get him into it last year but I concede now he probably wasn't ready for it.
"He's been there three times and run really good races at Newcastle, it's a track that's going to aid him to be at his best and it's a good opportunity for him."
While Pride sees a good set up for Coal Crusher to fire in the Hunter, the same can't be said for Sinawann who'll have his second start for the stable in the feature race.
The seven-year-old pleased Pride with his first-up run behind Hard To Say in the Choisir Handicap (1100m) on Big Dance day but isn't rapt in drawing near the outside.
He's still feeling his way with Sinawann and a race like next month's $2m The Ingham (1600m) is looking unlikely at this stage.
"I thought he went good, he copped one significant bit of interference,'' he said.
"I'm not happy with that barrier, he'll still run because there should be good tempo on but I think he's more a seven furlong horse.
"I don't know that he'll run a strong mile for me as he's quite keen."
As for the stable's other runners – King Of The Castle, Lekvarte and Stockman – Pride said he's taking a good team up to Newcastle and while he's hoping to jag the feature it would be no surprise at all if he's taking home something from the undercard.
"They're all going well, they've all got good chances in their various races,'' he said.