Don’t rule Private Eye out of Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm

Brenton Avdulla drives home Private Eye in the Queensland Guineas last year. Picture: Trackside Photography.

Scrap Private Eye’s forgettable last start in the Doncaster ahead of Saturday’s $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm on Saturday,/a>.

Entirely different conditions, a freshen-up and the fact the four-year-old gelding is a class sprinter – with star jockey Brenton Avdulla aboard – should lead to a much-improved performance in the Group 1 feature over 1300m.

“The Doncaster was very disappointing, no doubt about it. But it was on a very heavy track,” Pride told when asked about his 19th place in the $3 million feature over a mile on April 2.

“I just don’t think he was suited on that track. He jumped well and it dragged him back. He never really got into the contest.

“His two runs before that were good and the trials have been good, so I’m expecting him to bounce back.”

It was Avdulla who guided Private Eye to glory in last year’s Queensland Guineas, also over a mile.

“He’s had a few different jockeys through his short career so far. But Brenton has won a few on him,” Pride said.

“He gets on well with him. He’s come back riding really well after his (neck) injury, so I’m happy to have him on board.”

Pride believes his star sprinter with over $1.6 million in prizemoney has built nicely for Saturday’s feature.

“He’s a horse who generally gets better as he gets into his preparation,” he said.

“He’s just had a freshen-up. Eagle Farm will suit him – he’s one from one there.

“A good, strong tempo should suit him as well.”

Star jockey William Pike told that Taksu would present him his best chance of winning on a day he has eight rides on the 10-race program.

But Pride was a little more circumspect about the six-year-old gelding who has been rated a $6.50 chance with Betfair for the $250,000 BRC Sprint (1300m).

“I think he was a lot better chance seven days ago when he was on a heavy track. He’s got to go on the dry now, but he’s an in-form horse and makes his own luck up on speed,” he said.

“He should run well.”

Meanwhile, Pride was disappointed three-year-old Smooth Flight got ran down and finished third in a $35,000 Maiden Handicap (1100m) at Gosford on Thursday.

The three-year-old gelding is winless after two starts.

“Very immature. He’s taking a while to get there, and he’s probably still a prep or two away,” Pride said.

Private Eye’s Odds In Kingsford-Smith Cup

Race 9 – Silk #1 Private Eye (16)

4yo Gelding | T: Joseph Pride | J: Brenton Avdulla (59kg)

$26.00 with Betfair

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