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Makybe Diva main target for Grunt
30 Aug 2018

Trainer Mick Price has elected to run O’Reilly entire Grunt (x Ruqqaya) in Saturday’s Gr.1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield after he grew concerned with the four week gap between runs.

 

The Gr.1 Australian Guineas (1600m) winner ,who was purchased out of Trelawney Stud's 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock draft, pleased his trainer with his fresh-up fifth-placing in the Gr.2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m), but Price said he needs the run heading into the Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) next month.

 

“He’s done too well and it was going to be four weeks between runs into the Makybe Diva, which is probably the case for a lot of these horses I guess,” Price said.

 

“He’s a four-year-old entire, he had a bit of a blow, and the four weeks between runs wasn’t going to be enough work for him.

 

“The Makybe Diva is a Group One, so he’ll be there to win it if he can and the Memsie is part of that plan.”

 

Price is pleased with Grunt’s inside barrier draw and believes PB Lawrence Stakes winner Showtime will once again set the early pace.

 

“There was good pace on (in the PB Lawrence) and there should be good pace on again,” he said. “I see Showtime has drawn two, we have drawn barrier one, so we’ll get a trail up.”

 

Jockey Luke Currie will be aboard on Saturday and he gave a glowing report after riding Grunt in track work earlier this week, however, Price said he’ll be suited over more ground.

 

“Currie came and rode him on Tuesday, the horse is going great,” Price said.

 

“He’s going to be that 2000m-type horse. He might be a Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup type of horse, he might run in the Cox Plate. I’ve just got to get a feel for him on the run through, but the horse is going great and will give plenty of cheek if he gets a run at the right time, albeit 1400m.

 

“It might be a bit sharp for him, but he’ll be chasing up behind them.

 

“He has taken a lot of improvement from that first-up run and each run he has he’ll get better and I’ll be looking forward to the Makybe Diva.” -NZ Racing Desk