Joe Pride had been upbeat about the chances of Dehorned Unicorn heading to Rosehill on a seven-day back-up, until he saw Sydney’s weather forecast.
Showers are predicted on Friday, with heavier downfalls on Saturday, and while Dehorned Unicorn handles soft conditions, he is not so comfortable on heavy tracks. “He is one that won’t want the rain,” Pride said.
If the weather does hold, Pride can make a case for Dehorned Unicorn in the Ned Australian Whisky Handicap (1300m).
The horse was fifth to Rebel Shadow over the same journey last weekend, beaten three-quarters of a length. While he ran well, Pride feels it was a missed opportunity and he hopes the addition of blinkers and a more aggressive ride can bring out the best in the horse.
“His best weapon is his speed and we failed to use it,” Pride said. “But he didn’t have a tough run and I thought it was an ideal opportunity to send him around again.”
Stablemate King Kapa will also sport headgear for the first time in the Bisley Workwear Handicap (1100m) with Pride hoping they might give the three-year-old a winning edge. Fourth in the Group 2 Champagne Classic as a juvenile, the former Queenslander has been competitive in Sydney but hasn’t been able to break through for a victory.
“He has just been struggling to finish one right off,” Pride said. “He hasn’t won since he has been down here but there is an opportunity for him on Saturday, particularly from a soft draw.”
In-form jockey Sam Clipperton will partner both horses.