New Zealand-bred Group One winner Grunt had a hitout at the Cranbourne trials this morning.
Caulfield trainer Mick Price is pleased with the progress of Group One winners Grunt and Mighty Boss after the duo filled the placings behind stablemate Holy Snow in a 990-metre trial at Cranbourne this morning.
Both Grunt and Mighty Boss are likely to resume in the Gr. 2 PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield on August 18, while Price will plot a path towards the Gr. 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes with Holy Snow.
“Grunt improved from his exhibition gallop he had with Mighty Boss, he was a bit wound down then, but he switched on today,” Price said.
“He bounced out of the gates fresh. I thought he improved a hell of a lot since that exhibition gallop.
“I haven’t been too hard on him, he’s got a long spring in front of him, but today was excellent, I’m very happy there.”
Price said Australian Guineas winner Grunt would be set on a path towards the Gr. 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate.
The New Zealand-bred son of O’Reilly will look to add to his stallion CV with the Gr. 1 Makybe Diva Stakes and Turnbull Stakes on his programme.
“We’re going to be a little bit flexible where we run him because we’re not sure how he’ll go around Moonee Valley,” Price said. “We need to take him to the right races with the right prize-money and target the right Group Ones.
“But I think because he’s a good Flemington horse, he’ll have a couple of goes there.”
Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss will likely meet his stablemate in the PB Lawrence.
“Mighty Boss was good, but Grunt’s probably caught up,” Price said. “Mighty Boss is a little bit gross, but they’ll kick off in the PB Lawrence, and then I think they’ll go different paths from there.”
Price said the Gr. 1 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield on October 13 was the principal target for Mighty Boss, but rider Michael Walker felt the entire by Not A Single Doubt would get over 2000 metres.
Group One winning two-year-old Seabrook finished fourth in her 800-metre heat and Price said the Tauranga-bred filly would commence in the Gr. 3 HDF McNeil Stakes at the beginning of next month.
“At this stage she’ll have a four-run prep culminating in the Thousand Guineas,” Price said.
Meanwhile, quality four-year-old Hiyaam was a notable scratching at the Cranbourne trials.
“She just had a little bit of a knee issue three or four days ago, so we just had to treat that,” Price said. “I couldn’t bring her here because of the swab rule on that one, but she can trial over 1100 metres at Caulfield tomorrow.
“She’s not set for anything early in the spring. Her go will be later in the spring so I’m happy with her. She came flying out of the trotting ring this morning, so she’s feeling great.”