Hidden Pearl’s trainer Barry Lockwood can find no reason for Hidden Pearl’s Sydney failure and punters are backing his judgment ahead of the mare’s return at Eagle Farm.
Hidden Pearl is the $2.20 favourite for the Saturday’s 1200m-Open Handicap, three weeks after she finished midfield, six lengths from the winner Felines in the Group Three Concorde Stakes at Randwick.
As is her pattern, Hidden Pearl led the Concorde but capitulated in the straight and Lockwood had his vets go over the mare with a fine tooth comb.
“Nothing raised its head at all,” Lockwood said.
“I was concerned because they caught her quickly and she was beaten a long way.
“The track was heavy but she goes well on wet tracks. Brydget (Grylls) said it was sticky going so maybe that was it.
“Otherwise everything is normal with her.”
Grylls has been aboard for six of Hidden Pearl’s seven wins and Lockwood will again utilise her 1.5 kilogram claim.
If Hidden Pearl performs as the trainer hopes, she will keep racing throughout the summer but most likely in her home state.
“I don’t think we’ll take her interstate again at the moment,” Lockwood said.
“The carnival is starting up here and that will tell us if she is superior to what is up here.
“I’ve always thought she would get up to 1400 metres as she gets older and more relaxed so we can find out.
“I would be good also to ride her back. I’m not anxious for her to lead all the time but maybe that’s just her.”
Lockwood’s other runner on Saturday is Kudero who will be ridden by senior jockey Brad Pengelly in the 1000m-sprint.
Formerly trained by Clarry Conners in Sydney, Kudero has won five races in Queensland since joining Lockwood in July last year.
“He’s coming back from 1200 metres but he won over 1000 last preparation,” Lockwood said.
“He is an honest horse and and always tries,”
Kudero is an $8 chance with Privlaka the $3.10 favourite.