Ball Of Muscle (left) is set for a return clash with Redzel (right) in the Galaxy at Rosehill.
If winning is all about mindset, Joe Pride is convinced Ball Of Muscle is in the zone as he prepares for a rematch with top sprinter Redzel in the Group One Galaxy at Rosehill.
A field of 13 has accepted for the 1100-metre feature including Pierata, classy colt Graff, frontrunner Nature Strip and Ball Of Muscle’s stablemate Easy Eddie, who backs up from a Rosehill win last Saturday.
Ball Of Muscle caused a minor upset when he held on to beat Redzel in the Challenge Stakes last start in a performance Pride said underlined the eight-year-old’s confidence.
“Horses can lose their winning way, which he did for a couple of years, he couldn’t get back in the winner’s circle,” Pride said.
“And now, eight of his last nine assignments he’s won, that’s trials and races included, and he’s just got that won’t-let-them-past-him type of attitude.
“When they’ve got that, geez, who knows how far they can go.
“He’s just refusing to lay down at the moment.”
If Ball Of Muscle can win the Galaxy (1100m), he will emulate his brother and former barn mate Tiger Tees who was successful five years ago.
His biggest barrier may be the track conditions with Rosehill still in the heavy range on Wednesday.
Ball Of Muscle handles slow ground but has struggled on more testing surfaces and Pride says track conditions will be all-important.
“In terms of splitting my two for the punters, I’d go on the track rating. If that track is six or better, I’d go with Ball Of Muscle, if it’s worse than six then Easy Eddie,” Pride said.
Easy Eddie doesn’t have the profile of his competitors but he’s building a good strike rate.
He continued his progression through the grades with a first-up win in the Maurice McCarten Stakes on a heavy 10 last weekend and gets into Saturday’s field with 51kg.
Pride was keen to see how he recovered before committing to a Galaxy start and the four-year-old has only given him reason to run.
“People might look at his form and think he only beat She Knows and All Over Bosanova but it’s the amount of improvement he takes out of a run, I know he’ll be significantly better this week,” Pride said.