Preusker plotting Surprise Baby's Melbourne Cup path


Paul Preusker was proud of Surprise Baby's effort in The Andrew Ramsden. 


Surprise Baby (Shocking) will have to take a tougher path to the Melbourne Cup but trainer Paul Preusker is convinced the gelding will make the great race in November despite his narrow defeat in Saturday's Andrew Ramsden at Flemington.

The exciting stayer finished a nose from a guaranteed Melbourne Cup start with Steel Prince gaining the coveted slot after a thrilling finish in the $400,000 event.

Surprise Baby (pictured below, Dean Holland riding) raced wide throughout before fighting on bravely. Preusker said the Andrew Ramsden result left him feeling a mixture of pride in Surprise Baby but disappointment in the tight result.

"It's a bit of both. You realise what barriers mean to horses and that's racing. You've just got to get in and have go," Preusker said.

"I'm just really proud of the horse."

Preusker said Surprise Baby is the best horse he has trained with a terrific turn of foot that is comparable with the stable's best sprinters.

"The amazing part about this horse is we set him for the Ramsden but you could give him a fortnight off and bring him back down the straight over 1200 and they'd know he was there," Preusker said.

"I haven't had a horse like him. I work him with the good speed horses at home and he's too good for them."

Preusker said he hadn't mapped out a program after The Andrew Ramsden but would need to decide his plans with the son of the 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking.

"It's going to be tricky," Preusker said. "I banked on everything happening here and, knowing the horse will need a let-up, I hadn't looked too far ahead.

"I'll have to work back from November and map it out.

"He goes to the paddock now and we'll have a think about it and I'm sure he'll come back a better horse later on."


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