Price's fillies set for autumn features

4 min read

By Bren O'Brien

Trainer Mick Price has black-type goals in the autumn for his two impressive 3-year-old fillies, Crack The Code (I Am Invincible) and Oceanex (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ)), after their wins at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Crack The Code was barely touched by jockey Damien Oliver, cruising to a 1.75l win in the Ladbrokes Handicap over 1000m in her first start since May.

A $170,000 2017 Magic Millions purchase out of the stakes-winning WA mare Most Secret (Bletchley Park), making her a half sister to G1 Railway S. winner Covertly (Metal Storm), Crack The Code was having her first start since May and her third overall.

With a pedigree filled with black type, it’s not surprising that stakes success is something high on Price's agenda and the G3 Kevin Hayes S. at Caulfield in February is the short-term aim.

"She was good wasn't she," Price told RSN. "I thought she'd improved from where we had her at her first prep. She has always been a little bit immature. She had a bit a wind issue, something in her throat had to be lasered off. I reckon she will have a really good preparation and we've got some really high hopes for her."

"I reckon she will have a really good preparation and we've got some really high hopes for her." - Trainer, Mick Price

"I think on February 9, they’ve got the Kevin Hayes 1200m race for fillies and the black type races kick off there. Obviously as an I Am Invincible filly, she's quite well bred, there are some stakes winners high up in her family. I'd be very keen to get some black type going in February."

Beyond that Price said he would look to keep Crack The Code, who was Flemington winner over 1100m at her first start, to races up to 1200m, and he feels she has significant scope for improvement through this campaign.

Crack The Code was a $170,000 Magic Millions purchase

"She's only had three starts, that's the whole thing about her. She's conditioned, but clearly you get better and better as they adapt to being a racehorse. I feel every start, she's going to get a little bit tougher and a little bit better and we are going to get to the bottom of her," he said.

"I just think yesterday was soft and we are entitled to aim for much better races for her and that's what I am doing."

Vinery target for Oceanex

Much better races also await Oceanex, who while she wasn't as impressive as her stablemate in winning the Dean and McPherson Catering Hcp over 1600m, gave Price the feel that she could graduate to Group 1 class in the near future.

Coming off a seven-length maiden victory at Geelong on a wet track, she arrived late under Dwayne Dunn to make it two wins from four starts.

"I was a bit concerned coming back to a mile that she would need to find a turn of foot, but luckily she was given enough room to wind up and hit the line," he said.

"Body-wise, she's starting to mature into a nice Christmas 3-year-old now. She looked great this morning, ate up well and she's sound. I think we can train on no worries, I've just got to work out a program."

The G1 Vinery Stud S. a race Price won with Hiyaam (High Chaparral {Ire}) last season, looks a likely target.

"I reckon it would be nice to get her peaking for the Vinery, and then if we thought she was a mile and half filly, we could run her in the Oaks. I would say the Vinery would have a big circle around it at this stage."

A $70,000 buy from the 2017 NZB Karaka Yearling Sales, Oceanex is a half sister to stakes-winner Amexed (NZ) (Pentire {GB}), a family that includes G1 ARC Railway S, winner Ryan Mark (NZ) (Thorn Park).

Big Battle plans

Price also revealed big autumn plans for Battlecruiser (Snitzel), who ran third in the Plate behind Yes Yes Yes (Rubick) on debut.

Price said the G1 Blue Diamond S. appealed as did the Group 1 2-year-old features in Sydney.

Battlecruiser, a $300,000 Melbourne Premier Sale buy, is out of Just Our Girl (Encosta De Lago), who is out of star mare Gold Edition (Lion Hunter).