Pride's plans for 'lazy' Eye

Group One winner Private Eye is no star on the training track.

PRIVATE EYE. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

He made the transition from Group One winning miler to top-line sprinter last preparation and the Joe Pride-trained Private Eye will be sticking to the shorter journeys this autumn.

After winning both the Queensland Guineas and Epsom Handicap over 1600m in previous campaigns, the son of Al Maher won the Group Two Gilgai Stakes over 1200m at Flemington last October before a narrow second in the $15 million The Everest at Royal Randwick over the same sprint distance.

It had been well publicised that Pride had been preparing his five-year-old differently this time around, but the Warwick Farm-based conditioner squashed those opinions when talking to Sky Sports Radio on Tuesday morning.

"It's sort have been a bit overplayed out in the media this training him as a sprinter idea," Pride said.

"Honestly, there's been no change with him in the last couple of preps, I don't train him any different.

"He's not a hard horse to train if you can accept that he's very lazy, which I'm willing to accept because there's no prize money for track work."

There's no doubting it takes a different kind of equine to win at the highest level over 1200m compared to 1600m, but Pride believes it comes more down to the physical make-up of the animal rather than his training techniques.

"The difference is the horse," Pride said.

"Going back when he won the Epsom and the Queensland Guineas he was a horse that used to drop out the back, be under pressure a fair way out. Basically have no speed in his legs.

"He's got older, he's got stronger, he's got a lot more tactical speed, races a bit closer to the pace. So it's more that I'm placing him as a sprinter, more than training him as a sprinter."

As to what's in store for Private Eye over the coming months, Pride has his sights set squarely on a $1.5 million Group One over 1200m at Flemington on March 11.

"He had his first trial last week. He'll have a second trial on the 16th, another one on the (27th) at Rosehill and then off to the Newmarket." 

Pride also prepares another Proven Thoroughbreds syndicated galloper in Think About It, who is building up an impressive record winning four of five starts to date. The next couple of weeks will determine where the So You Think gelding ends up this time in work. 
"This run we're about to have either this week or next week is a bit of a line in the sand," Pride said. 
"I'm going to assess whether he's going to play a part in the autumn carnival or we're going to back off him a little bit and have a crack at the Brisbane winter. 
"That next run will tell a lot." 
Private Eye is currently equal-second favourite at $8 in the pre-noms market for the Newmarket Handicap. 
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