Warwick Farm trainer David Vandyke has declared his French import Prince Cheri as spot on for their maiden Group 1 assignment in Sydney’s The Metropolitan 2013 at Royal Randwick this weekend which could lead them to Melbourne for the Caulfield Cup next month.
The flying Lando four-year-old has shot to the top of the markets for the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) on Saturday after winning their last two starts on the trot.
The first was a second-up effort over 1500m at Rosehill in a Benchmark 95.
They were then last seen racing back at the Gardens on September 14 beating home a decent field of fellow staying types in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).
That effort saw them move right up The Metropolitan betting markets, Prince Cheri now the equal $4.60 favourite with Chris Waller’s last start Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) winner Moriarty.
Originally the Kingston Town wasn’t even on the cards for Prince Cheri.
With Vandyke targeting them at the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19, plans were to send them to Melbourne in preparation early.
However a late change saw them stay on in Sydney and now the trainer is looking at his possible first Group 1 victory on Saturday.
If all goes to plan then Prince Cheri will still head south for the Caulfield Cup 2013, Vandyke looking to get them into the field with a The Metropolitan win.
Currently allocated 52kg, inclusive of a 1kg penalty for their Kingston Town victory, Prince Cheri is in danger of missing out on a Caulfield run sitting equal 39th on the order of entry.
But Vandyke is confident that will be rectified on the weekend in The Metropolitan, the time between the Kingston Town and this now a non-issue.
“I was a little bit apprehensive about whether the three weeks between runs was going to be too long,” Vandyke told AAP this week.
“(However) I now believe that will be perfect.”
Prince Cheri is booked to have their final serious pre-Metropolitan gallop on Tuesday morning.
“He’ll have a good serious piece of work on the course proper at Warwick Farm to see where we are at,” Vandyke said.
The only other The Metropolitan hope currently under $10 is then Waterhouse’s up-and-coming High Chaparral four-year-old Ecuador at $7 who is yet to race in stakes company.
Waterhouse’s other top chance of recording her incredible ninth The Metropolitan trophy, after securing her eighth with all-the-way winner Glencadam Gold 12 months ago, Julienas is the first at double figures paying $10.
The official The Metropolitan 2013 field and barriers are due for release on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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