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Hard Stride to step up in stakes race

Tough gelding Hard Stride has thrown off the effects of a colic scare and is ready to add to his solid stakes race record at Eagle Farm.

Hard Stride will be having his 13th start in a stakes race when he contests Saturday’s $200,000 Group Three George Moore Stakes (1200m).

The gelding won the 2014 Listed Regal Roller Stakes when trained in Melbourne and has been placed in three other black-type races.

Hard Stride was fourth in the Listed Keith Noud Quality at Eagle Farm two weeks ago at his first run since his late scratching at Doomben because of a sudden colic attack.

Trainer Tony Sears said Hard Stride appeared to have recovered completely from the illness which caught him by surprise.

“I was just about to saddle him when he started pawing the ground and I went and got the vet. But he is over it now and has been as good as gold,” Sears said.

“His last start in the Keith Noud was very good because he was one of the horses on the inside which appeared to be a disadvantage.

“Damian Browne rode him and said while he probably wouldn’t have won had he been able to get to the outside he would have run second.”

Hard Stride, who is raced by David Moodie’s Contract racing syndicate, has been performing well for Sears after being transferred to Sears earlier this year.

He has won a race and been minor placed twice from four starts this campaign.

“Hard Stride faces a task on Saturday but he is down in the weights and I think 1200 metres might be his right distance,” Sears said.

Browne can’t make Hard Stride’s weight of 54kg and Luke Tarrant, who won the Recognition Stakes on Cylinder Beach last week, has picked up the ride.

“Luke is back riding well and Hard Stride isn’t without a hope of giving him another black type win,” Sears said.

Sears also has a former Contract Racing horse, El Greco, who will contest the Class 3 Plate.

“Craig Black who is a client of mine has bought El Greco who does look well placed on his old form,” Sears said.

El Greco has been placed twice in stakes races in Melbourne.

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