Tony Vasil’s progressive colt Prince Harada may have finished out of the money in their two Group 1 assignments this campaign gone but they will be given another chance in the autumn targeting the Australian Guineas 2014.
The Haradasun colt enjoyed a great start to their career as a juvenile in the winter winning back-to-back Victorian races.
First was a 1000m sprint at Ballarat by two and a half lengths followed by a 1200m Moonee Valley win in June.
They returned in August and caught the eye immediately when runner-up behind Fast ‘n’ Rocking in the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes (1200m), a great effort as they were slow from the gates, hampered near the 100m and also blocked for a run in the closing stages.
From there they were stepped up to elite level company in Sydney for a shot at the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in September.
Things didn’t go their way however when they were checked mid-race and blocked for a run near the 1000m to eventually run fifth, beaten three and a half lengths, behind the Chris Waller-trained star Zoustar.
Prince Harada’s next start and their latest run was also in Group 1 company.
Back home at Caulfield they ran in the Caulfield Guineas stepping up to the mile but could only manage to finish seven lengths away sixth behind the Peter Snowden-trained winner Long John.
Given a rest after that Prince Harada is now gearing up for their Melbourne Festival of Racing return where they’ll be set for a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1.
He’ll likely contest that three or four runs into his autumn campaign with Vasil still planning their exact route towards the Group 1.
“His goal in Melbourne is obviously the Australian Guineas and he’ll have two or three runs before that race,” Vasil told Racing Victoria this week.
“Which exact races they are I don’t want to really set down in concrete at the moment.”
The Australian Guineas will be used by many of the season’s most promising staying three-year-olds then as a lead-up to the $1 million Group 1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m) back at the track seven days later.
Prince Harada’s major autumn aim however could be in Sydney with Vasil planning to nominate them for the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 19.
“I think you have to pay up for those sort of races as insurance just to keep all the options open because if all of a sudden everything comes together and you’re not entered then you look silly,” he said.
“He’s a very good horse. I keep saying it but he’s a Group 1 horse in the making.
“He certainly runs a mile but I think he’ll run 2000m.
“It’s yet to be proven but my gut feeling is he will run 2000 because he settles and he seems even more settled in his demeanour than he was last time in work.”
Vasil says Prince Harada has come back into work bigger and stronger than pre-spell and has done plenty of maturing.
“He had a lovely spell and is 35kgs heavier than what he was when he went out after the Caulfield Guineas,” Vasil said.
“He’s matured and muscled up a bit more because he’s still been in a fairly active growth phase.
“He’s mentally more mature than he was and he’s ticking over very nicely. He’s in perfect order and he looks a treat.”
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