Lessons being learnt from The Race by Grins

By Adam Hamilton

Shannon Price insists she is learning as much as her young stable star Speak The Truth at the moment.

Speak The Truth was disappointing by his recent lofty standards when a tiring eighth after sitting parked in last Friday night’s $1mil Race By Grins at Cambridge.

But Price is already looking forward to proving the four-year-old is much better than that in the Taylor Mile and Messenger in coming weeks.

“He went OK, but he can certainly go better,” Price said.

“I think I’d been a bit too easy on him. He was a bit tired after the trip across and the track at Barry’s (Purdon) place is quite different to ours.

“Because the trip took a bit out of him, I didn’t want to work him too hard. You don’t want to flatten them.

“I thought I’d got close to replicating the sort of work he’d do at home, but I was guessing a bit with the different (training) track and maybe he needed more work.

“I went to Cambridge hoping more than confident. He didn’t give it away, but he never does. He just shouldn’t have been struggling that far from home, even after doing the work he did.”

Remember, it was only four starts back when Speak The Truth had a similar run parked and won in fantastic style at Menangle in a Miracle Mile qualifier, posting a 1min48.8sec mile.

Price is already looking ahead to Friday week’s $NZ110,000 Group 1 Taylor Mile at Alexandra Park.

“We’ve got time on our side. I’m sure I’ll be a lot happier with him by then,” she said. “He’s learning at this level, but I’m still learning myself, too,” she said.

“I’ll freshen him up a bit between these runs with the drop back to 1700m in the Taylor Mile. I like the drop back and then we go out to the staying trip again for the Messenger the week after.

“The plan was always to stay for these couple of Auckland races after the Grins.

“He’s come a long way over the past four months or so and I think he’ll be better again after a spell.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’ll be very competitive if I get him where he needs to be for the next two races here, but I’m also looking forward to getting him home for a good spell after this. He’ll have at least a month out.”

That rules Speak The Truth out of Group 1 races like the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake during his hometown Queensland Constellations carnival in winter.

And it drives home Price’s intention to return to NZ for a crack at November’s NZ Trotting Cup.

“That’s the plan. He’s definitely missing winter and, if we do the NZ Cup as planned, we’d probably miss the Inter Dominion in Sydney after that as well,” Price said.

Speak The Truth has raced just 30 times for 16 wins, eight placings and banked over $600,000.

He’s got all the makings of a serious Grand Circuit player over the next few years.

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