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Joe Pride believes the Golden Eagle will play into the hands of Private Eye if the Rosehill 1500m track record is given a nudge.
Joe Pride, trainer of Private Eye, hopes the track record that has stood for more than 20 years is threatened in the $7.5m XXXX Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
The Golden Eagle has attracted an outstanding field of 18 four-year-olds competing for huge prizemoney on a firm Rosehill track that is rated a Good 4, which should ensure an extreme pressure race run at a genuine speed.
The Rosehill 1500m record of 1min 27.21sec has stood since Shindig won the Coolmore Classic in 1998 but the conditions are suitable for that time to be challenged in the Golden Eagle.
"This horse loves races where the speed is on, it's just the style of horse he is,'' Pride said. "He has such an awkward racing pattern. He gives away these big head starts but he has a terrific finish.''
Pride said Private Eye had been in three high-pressure races and won them all – the Queensland Guineas, Show County Quality and Epsom Handicap.
Private Eye is set to emulate Kolding's 2019 feat when he won the Queensland Guineas-Epsom Handicap-Golden Eagle treble.
But Private Eye's wide barrier (17) has resulted in the gelding easing in betting to $6.50, while main rival I'm Thunderstruck has firmed into $4 favouritism.
Form expert Gary Crispe said on weight-adjusted Timeform ratings he predicted a tight finish with about a length separating the top four placegetters and Private Eye emerging as a narrow winner.
"The Joe Pride-trained Private Eye isn't rated as high as Kolding at the same point of their careers but their records are almost identical,'' he said.
"Kolding won the Queensland Guineas in the winter before coming back in the spring to complete the Epsom Handicap-Golden Eagle double.
"Private Eye was rated 107 when winning the Queensland Guineas before rating 115 when winning this year's Epsom, running to a level about two lengths inferior to Kolding.
"But the four weeks between runs looks a great set-up for Private Eye dropping back to 1500m. He'll just need a touch of luck from the wide draw.''
Golden Eagle favourite I'm Thunderstruck is a last-start Group 1 winner of the Toorak Handicap, improving his Timeform rating to 113 to be slightly lower than Private Eye.
"Private Eye and I'm Thunderstruck boast impressive profiles, with I'm Thunderstruck winning five of his eight starts,'' Crispe said.
"However, I'm Thunderstruck still has a fair bit of room to move, whereas most of his opposition have already reached their mark.
"I'm Thunderstruck has never raced anticlockwise before. However, his sole trial in New Zealand was that way of going.''
European imports Laws Of Indices and Maximal make their Australian debuts in the Golden Eagle, adding real interest and class to the field.
Laws Of Indices comes across as a Group 1 and Group 2 winner in Europe, though both were at big odds, and a Timeform rating of 115 is not quite as high as one would expect with those two features to his name.
"But it's a rating that measures right up in the Golden Eagle, and that both of those wins came at the expense of other Group 1 winners adds some substance to the form,'' Crispe said.
"He has not been entirely consistent but he is more than capable of being competitive.''
Few racehorses have come to these shores with a pedigree to match Maximal.
A three-quarter brother to the great Frankel, Maximal also has substance in the form book having run into two of the best horses in the world in his most recent runs.
"Maximal held on well in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Poetic Flare and followed that with a game effort when second to Baaeed,'' Crispe said.
"Maximal was no match for Poetic Flare or Baaeed but there is nothing of that ilk in the Golden Eagle and the 1500m looks ideal first-up.''
O'Shea confident Maximal a quality athlete
Maximal, the three-quarter to racing's all-time great Frankel, can provide a cash boost for Surf Life Saving NSW if he runs well in the $7.5m XXXX Golden Eagle at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
One of the features of the Golden Eagle is that 10 per cent of all prizemoney won is donated to various charities selected by the owners of the 18 runners.
So, if Maximal wins the Golden Eagle, then the Surf Life Saving NSW organisation will receive a cheque for $410,000.
It hasn't been an ideal build-up to the Golden Eagle for Maximal's trainer John O'Shea this week.
His exciting performer came up with the extreme outside barrier at Tuesday's's barrier draw and then O'Shea had to find a replacement jockey for the injured Sam Clipperton.
But O'Shea has locked in star rider Alysha Collett to ride Maximal and there is an expectation the $13 chance will prove hard to beat in the big race.
"We were excited to get him and since he's got here he hasn't indicated that our assessment is wrong,'' O'Shea told Racing NSW this week.
"He has the best form in the world up to a mile and since he's got here he's definitely proven to be a horse of immense quality."
The O'Shea stable has a strong representation at the Rosehill meeting with top sprinter Lost And Running lining up in the $1 million Classique Legend Stakes, and stablemates Lion's Roar and Mirann contest the $750,000 Rosehill Gold Cup.
O'Shea has also sent form mare Minhaaj, a last start winner, to Melbourne to contest the Furphy Sprint at Flemington.
Online article taken from The Advertiser, published on Friday, 29th October 2021, Author, Ray Thomas.