Young Australian trainer Joe Pride may be here to contest the HK$12 million Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint at Group One level on Sunday with a good horse, but he saved his greatest thanks for former boss John Size for his teachings about training bad horses. Being a Size protege can be a heavy load to carry, but Pride, 34, has no doubt that four years under Hong Kong's champion set him on the path, perhaps, to an international win with Red Oog. 'The question always embarrasses me because I don't feel I'm giving enough respect to other people I worked for, but I only started around horses when I was 21 and the time with John really made me. I owe so much to him and his wife Carmel,' Pride says. 'They set me up, gave me the skill and knowledge to go on with my career. I'd say he definitely held the first and last tricks back, but that's not what it's about.' And he laughs at the idea that working for Size was a shortcut to duplicating his wizardry. 'There are different ways to be a good teacher. Sometimes the best is not the one who spoon-feeds you, but makes you pay attention and learn for yourself and that's what John did,' he recalls. 'He wanted me to succeed, but he wasn't going to give me an easy route and as a teacher and student we clicked. The most important thing he taught me was patience - not a virtue I have much of generally but with horses I am very patient. 'Anyone can train a good horse, but John's a great trainer of a bad horse and it's a skill that, if you can pick it up, you make the most of lesser opportunities and that takes you further.' A dual Group One winner, Red Oog holds a decision over hot Sprint favourite Takeover Target but seemed to qualify as a bad horse when he first appeared. 'I thought he was no good. He showed the minimum of talent before he went to the races, then came from last through a field of 14 and won under a hold,' Pride said. 'He's still a terrible worker. At a trackwork session in Brisbane last year it was embarrassing. He spent the whole time looking at the crowd and wouldn't go faster than half pace. I wasn't looking to see much in his work this morning, he was fit before he came, so I'm just keeping him fresh and happy.' Red Oog was unperturbed by a cat in his path yesterday, taking no notice as the feline arched its back and hissed as he loped past. Pride, like many young trainers, is looking to raise his profile by means of international competition with the domestic scene in Sydney under the stranglehold of the huge stables of John Hawkes and Gai Waterhouse. 'You're no chance against them so you have to find another way,' he says. 'This is the world stage, with a lot of potential clients watching and if you win or do well, it can mean a lot. Red Oog has beaten Takeover Target and he's good enough to beat him again. 'When he gets cover and clear running, he's almost never been beaten.' Pride targeted this race for Red Oog instead of Melbourne's spring carnival in October-November. 'In two previous trips to Melbourne, he didn't fire down the straight course, and Caulfield and Moonee Valley he found difficult to get around,' he says. 'When they changed this to 1,200m around a turn, right-handed, I saw it as ideal.' Red Oog's preparation run was controversial. He was knocked out of the race at the start by Kieren Fallon on the eventual winner. 'I would love to have won, he's never won two in a row and a win there might have made getting him to win on Sunday more difficult,' he said. 'He's a good traveller who doesn't need his home and the 8kg he lost on the flight he's already put back. He's come off the track whinnying and in the right frame of mind.'