Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Black Cloud descends on Randwick rivals

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The Blak Cloud (Jay Ford, outside, green & black cap) wins at Randwick on May 25, 2024 – photo by Martin King/Sportpix copyright

Having begun the day questioning how well The Black Cloud had come back this campaign, Joe Pride ended it by labelling her a stakes-class horse in the making.

The Proven Thoroughbreds filly took her record to three wins from four starts with a rousing first-up victory in Saturday’s Taylor Construction Handicap (1000m) at Randwick, showing a new string to her bow by coming from off the speed to comfortably reel in her rivals.

While she had shown enormous promise at her initial preparation, Pride admitted her two trials had him wondering whether she had returned to work quite as well this campaign.

“We had in mind going to Scone with her and we just didn’t think she had trialled well enough to put her on a float and go all the way to Scone,” Pride said.

“She trialled, not conservatively, but maybe a little bit below what she was capable of doing.

“She’s a horse who turns up on race day with her best and we have continually seen that from her.

“She is a filly who is building a really good record and she’s going places.”

Despite Pride’s reservations, The Black Cloud started a $4.40 betting app favourite and had 1-1/4 lengths to spare over Passeggiata ($6) with Mogo Magic ($7) another nose back in third.

Pride was unsure of immediate plans for The Black Cloud saying he had been keen to see what she did first-up before deciding where to head.

“I wanted to see how she came back,” he said.

“You can get carried away saying you’re going to go here, here, and here and all of a sudden, you haven’t got the horse and you’ve told everyone where you’re going – I’ve been there a few times.

“It’s easy with good horses, but with progressive horses it is never that easy.”

While Pride doesn’t have an immediate target, he is confident The Black Cloud will measure up to stakes company at some stage.

“You’d have to think so because she is so lightly raced and she is already beating up the older horses, you’d have to suggest she could be (a black-type horse),” he said.

A race earlier, Tulloch Lodge three-year-old Invincible Spy upset the Classic hopes of several of his rivals with an all-the-way win in the Wilson Asset Management Handicap (1800m).

One of only three of the 13 runners not nominated for either the Queensland Oaks or Derby, Invincible Spy outpaced his opposition to pass his first test beyond a mile with flying colours.

Rachel King was given a rock-star reception on her return to scale, the jockey understandably popular with owners the Australian Chinese Jockey Club.

“I’ve won a Group One for them before, a lot of them were in Knights Order and Military Mission,” King said.

“I think nearly every good winner I’ve had for Gai (Waterhouse) and Adrian (Bott), they’ve been in.”

Invincible Spy ($10) made light of his 59kg top weight to win by a half-length over the Chris Waller-trained Concello ($13), who was doing her best work at the finish, with Ravello ($18) the same margin away third.

Waller’s assistant Charlie Duckworth said Concello would almost certainly press on to the Queensland Oaks in two weeks after going down narrowly.

“I’d say we will have to venture up because ultimately, they’re only three once and she is looking for distance,” Duckworth said.

“She’s got enough prizemoney to get in, it’s hard enough to get to these races and time-wise it works out perfectly.”

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