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Maluckyday to make debut for new trainer
Mandy Cottell
12:57 AEST Fri Oct 18 2013

He has accumulated a six-figure sum in prize money but Maluckyday will look anything but a million dollars at Randwick on Saturday.

Not that new trainer Joe Pride is concerned by his outward appearance.

"I've waited to take him to the races until we were really happy with him and I'm now at that point," Pride said.

"His coat isn't out yet so he looks a bit scruffy but I know underneath he's feeling pretty good so I'm happy."

Previously with the Hawkes training team, Maluckyday will have his first start for Pride in the City Tattersalls Club Handicap (1400m).

It was at the corresponding meeting three years ago that Maluckyday was catapulted into Melbourne Cup contention with a dominant win in the City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m).

He carried the hopes of the nation in Australia's most famous race and finished a dashing second to French raider Americain.

But a bout of pneumonia cut short a repeat bid a year later and while he has run some great races since then he has never quite lived up to the early promise.

Pride is hoping to coax that back and it is a challenge the Warwick Farm horseman relishes.

"I'd take Maluckyday any day over a high priced yearling," Pride said.

"I love working with this kind of horse. The challenge is there to get him back somewhere near his best and if I can do that I've got a Group One horse.

"You are going to go through a lot of yearlings to get a Group One horse."

Maluckyday is better known over much further than 1400m but he did finish fifth in the Group One Futurity Stakes first-up last campaign.

Pride has been buoyed by his two recent trial efforts and believes the gelding is sharp enough to be competitive in Saturday.

"Getting a guide on a horse who is primarily a mile-and-a-half horse to a two miler in 800 metre barrier trials is not easy, but I think there is a little bit of speed back in his legs that maybe he hasn't had in the last season or two," Pride said.

Plans are Maluckyday will have a four-start campaign culminating in the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Randwick on January 1.

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