Big 2024 on cards for Speak The Truth

By Adam Hamilton

In an exciting twist, Queensland trainer Shannon Price has revealed next month’s $1m Race By Grins could be the first of two NZ raids this year for her star pacer Speak The Truth.

Price is also looking very seriously at returning for a tilt at the NZ Trotting Cup at Addington in November.

“I’m thinking the best for him after the Grins is to come back home and have a long spell and to miss our (Queensland) big races through winter,” she said.

“I could bring him back later in the year, when I think he’ll be even more mature and better, and target a race like the NZ Cup.

“I know lots of Aussies will go for the Sydney Inter Dominion, but I’d be happy to miss that and focus on Addington.”

It could mean another clash with fellow Queenslander Leap To Fame, who ironically, is one of the main reasons Speak The Truth is chasing the Race By Grins.

Price loves Speak The Truth, but concedes Leap To Fame is just too good for him, at least at this stage.

So, when Leap To Fame pulled-out of a planned trip across the ditch, Price quickly switched focus to the race.

“I think it's 7-0 Leap To Fame’s way against us, so wherever we can go for feature races and avoid him is a big plus, especially for prize money like that,” she said.

It’s been a whirlwind past month for Price, who was bewildered and even a tad annoyed Speak The Truth has not gained interest in slot holders in the Race By Grins or the $1.25mil Group 1 Nullarbor in Perth before she took the five-year-old to Sydney for a crack at the Miracle Mile.

Speak The Truth brilliantly won his qualifier with a career-best performance and time and had to be content with a brave third to his nemesis, Leap To Fame, in the Miracle Mile itself last Saturday week.

“Things changed quickly,” Price said. “Straight after the Cordina (qualifying race) win, John Green rang me and pleaded with me to partner with their slot for the Race By Grins, then another slot owner rang about the NZ race, too.

“Soon after, a slot owner from Perth was on the phone with a really good offer to go to the Nullarbor (April 19) instead of Cambridge.

“There was a lot to weigh-up, but he’s a January foal and we think he’s still six months away from being fully mature and ready at this level, so a hit-and-run raid to NZ instead of what would’ve been two big races in Perth, is best for him now.”

Asked if Speak The Truth would have gone to Perth rather than NZ if Leap To Fame was in the Race By Grins.

“I think that would be a yes,” Price laughed.

Speak The Truth steps out at Albion Park on Saturday night and what could be the first of two lead-up races before heading to Sydney for a flight across to Auckland on April 7.

“We’ll firm-up plans after this week. We’ll know if he needs another run, maybe a trial up here or even just a workout down at Menangle before he gets on the plane. There’s lots of options,” Price said.

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