Muswellbrook trainer Stephen Gleeson turns attention to his home track

STEPHEN Gleeson knows there is another win in his seven-year-old galloper Pippi’s Pride but whether it can come in Tuesday’s Kayuga Cup (1450m) on his home track at Muswellbrook is a matter, which the trainer admits is up to the horse.

Pippis’ Pride has not won a race since December 2015 but has run a succession of minor placings since then.

“We can’t complain, he keeps earning prizemoney cheques but it would be nice to get another win with him,” Gleeson said.

“I am sure there is another one in him but now that he is older the horse has become trickier and probably even cunning.

“You can’t be sure where you are with him or even how to have him ridden.

“If you have him ridden up close he sometimes won’t find the line then if you put him in a longer race and try and have him ridden quietly he pulls his head off.”

Gleeson, however, might just have stumbled on to a new training regime for Pippi’s Pride.

Three starts back the horse ran a terrific race when fifth in the Dubbo Cup so Gleeson backed him up 11 days later in the Denman Cup at Muswellbrook.

“On his effort at Dubbo I expected him to run a big race but he was the first horse beaten,” he said.

“I was so dejected I took him home and did virtually nothing with him and he came out at his next start and ran huge race in the Jungle Juice Cup at Cessnock.

“He is a lightly-framed horse so perhaps now he needs to be kept fresh.”

Pippi’s Pride ran fourth in the Jungle Juice despite running into trouble at the 500 metres, being held on the home turn and running into more trouble soon after straightening.

The weather and state of the track is another factor that Gleeson says has also to be taken into consideration with a forecast of rain for Friday.

“He is no good on anything but a good track and I think that’s why he ran so well at Cessnock,” he said.

“The track was firm.

“Even if we get decent rain on Friday the forecast after that is for dry weather so hopefully by Tuesday the track will good again considering how dry it has been up to now.”

Fellow local trainer Peter Englebrecht nominated Alsoknownas for the cup but may bypass the race and start the horse at Newcastle on Saturday.

That race better suits his plans as he aims Alsoknownas at the Mayors Cup (1750m) at Muswellbrook on Melbourne Cup day, a race he won with the horse last year.