Essential Spice Can Handle Weight Rise Says Pearce

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Co-trainer Dan Pearce holds faith that talented sprinter Essential Spice will cope with a weight increase in a bid to win back-to-back races at Belmont on Saturday.

Essential Spice won the Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m) on July 11 with 54kg on her back and rises to 59kg in the Jockey Celebration Day Sprint (1000m).

“That’s the question I guess, but we are happy with the horse,” Pearce said on Tabradio.

“She has come through the last three weeks fantastically and we will present her in great order.

“Mervyn will be rolling along with the light weight and she (Essential Spice) is going to have to run him down, but she is in great order.”

Pearce hopes his move to bypass last Saturday’s Bolton Sprint (1200m) with Essential Spice will pay off.

“We initially thought we would go to the 1200m of last week, but had a rethink and went this way,” Pearce said.

“We thought to give her another 1000m race before we step back up to 1200m.

“Early days we were riding her for a bit more speed, but since we have been riding her cold she really has been able to turn it on late.

“We’re looking at getting her over 1200m to see if she can run it out.

“If she does it opens up a path for her through the summer.”

William Pike maintains the ride on Essential Spice, who has drawn the outside gate in the field of 10 starters.

Mervyn will settle on pace from barrier one and meets Essential Spice 3kg better after running third to her in the Beaufine Stakes.

Essential Spice holds $3.30 favouritism, easing from her opening price of $2.90.

Mervyn, prepared by Luke Fernie, has tightened from $4.40 into $4.20.

Meanwhile unbeaten gelding Cliffs Of Comfort also has winning claims for Pearce and his brother Ben, when he returns to tackle the Amelia Park Handicap (1000m).

The three-year-old was a revelation in his maiden campaign when he claimed a hat trick of wins when leading at Bunbury and Ascot earlier in the autumn.

Cliffs Of Comfort tuned up for his return start with a second to Free Trade in a 1000m trial at Belmont two weeks ago.

“I thought he went really well and Free Trade is going enormous and is a good horse,” Pearce said.

“The couple of bits of work Cliffs Of Comfort has done has been out of this world.

“He’s certainly in form and looking forward to getting him back to the races.”

Cliffs Of Comfort ($2.90) and Silkinize ($2.60) are fighting for favouritism.

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au

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