Joe Pride loved what he saw from Eduardo during the sprinter’s initial preparation in his care, but he is even more enamoured with him this time around.
The gelding arrived on Pride’s doorstep as a Group One placegetter whose form had tapered off and connections hoped a change of scenery could reinvigorate him.
The initial signs have been positive with Eduardo notching wins in the July Sprint and Group Two Missile Stakes before a second to subsequent Everest winner Classique Legend in The Shorts.
But taking over a horse mid-career involves some adjustment – from trainer and thoroughbred – and Pride can see some significant improvements in Eduardo.
“He looks great. He has filled out a bit more and he is knowing his routine a bit better now,” Pride said.
“When he came in last time, I didn’t have any idea of what he should behave like but I like the version of him now more than I liked him in the winter.
“He is giving himself a better chance to be a good racehorse by the way he is behaving himself.”
Eduardo will continue his build up towards an autumn carnival return when he steps out in a 900 metre barrier trial at Rosehill on Thursday.
His rivals include Godolphin sprinter Deprive, promising four-year-old Bottega and stakes-class mares Fiesta and Positive Peace.
Pride says Eduardo is “flying” at home and will kick off in the Group Two Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on March 6 with his major target the Group One Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill two weeks later.
He will be among a number of carnival aspirants stepping out at Thursday’s trial session, which also features Master Of Wine, King’s Legacy, Haut Brion Her and star filly Montefilia.
Two leading Golden Slipper contenders will also clash in a 900 metre heat when Hawkes Racing’s Remarque lines up against Chris Waller’s Magic Millions winner Shaquero.