Prince Of Penzance has been included in the 2014 Mornington Cup final field; with trainer Darren Weir electing to keep the progressive stayer in Victoria rather than head to Tasmania for the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m).
The Pentire gelding has performed strongly throughout his summer preparation, winning at Moonee Valley on December 28 by an impressive three lengths, and stamped himself as the favourite for the Mornington Cup with a tough win in the Listed Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at Caulfield on February 1.
Prince Of Penzance will jump from barrier three with regular jockey Michelle Payne on board this Wednesday and Weir told Racing Victoria that the four-year-old would head into the race in excellent condition.
“He’s come through his win really good; Michelle galloped him yesterday and he went well,” Weir said.
“The plan was put in process a long time ago to head to either the Mornington or Launceston Cup.
“Obviously if we did go to Mornington and he could qualify for the Caulfield Cup that would be a bonus.”
Another talented stayer taking winning form into the Mornington Cup is Gai Waterhouse-trained Travolta, who has returned to his best form during his summer preparation.
Travolta (barrier 12) scored his first race win in almost 12 months when he took out the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens and was narrowly denied a maiden win at Group level in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) before having no luck when second in the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m).
The Handsome Ransom gelding returned to the winners stall with a victory in the Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick on January 25, but will need to be at his very best if he is going to win the Mornington Cup with 60kg on his back on Wednesday.
Travolta is joined in the 2014 Mornington Cup field by stablemate Laidback Larry, who had an impressive winning streak ended by Prince Of Penzance in the Mornington Cup Prelude just after a week ago.
Laidback Larry (barrier seven) started his summer campaign with three straight victories, highlighted by a five and a half lengths win in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on January 1, and Waterhouse believes that the son of O’Reilly has the talent to be competitive at Group level.
Chris Waller also has multiple runners in the 2014 Mornington Cup field; with He’s Your Man (barrier nine) and Instrumentalist (barrier four) both chasing their maiden black type wins in Australia in the Listed race.
Instrumentalist has scored three race wins since starting his preparation in October, while He’s Your Man is chasing his first win since arriving in Australia after producing impressive performances in the George Watson Handicap (1400m), Craftsman Handicap (1720m) and the Mornington Cup Prelude.
Pat Carey (Durnford, Angola and Altonio) and Peter Moody (Oregon Spirit and Macedonian) will also have multiple runners in the $350,000 race pm Wednesday.
The 2014 Mornington Cup field is rounded out by New Zealand-bred stayer Gottino (barrier ten) and Robert Smerdon-trained Cooldini (barrier eight).
The 2014 Mornington Cup is set to be a competitive race and you can find the best odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Sign-up and deposit at Ladbrokes.com.au before Wednesday to receive a free bet worth up to $250 that can be used to back Prince Of Penzance or any other runner in the Mornington Cup.
2014 Mornington Cup Final Field And Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||2242×81221||TRAVOLTA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||12||60kg||105|
|2||13121×7121||PRINCE OF PENZANCE (NZ)||Darren Weir||Ms Michelle Payne||3||55kg||95|
|3||3226×59182||OREGON SPIRIT||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||6||54.5kg||94|
|4||5901113×86||COOLDINI||Robert Smerdon||Glen Boss||8||54kg||93|
|5||6×06462120||GOTTINO (NZ)||Dan O’Sullivan||Ryan Maloney||10||54kg||91|
|6||x51625x234||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||9||54kg||91|
|7||0x90005725||DURNFORD||Pat Carey||Damian Lane||5||54kg||89|
|8||x942213141||INSTRUMENTALIST (IRE)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||4||54kg||88|
|9||3595113×89||MACEDONIAN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||–||2||54kg||88|
|10||x9161x1115||LAIDBACK LARRY (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Damien Oliver||7||54kg||87|
|11||1×67403931||ANGOLA||Pat Carey||Chris Symons||11||54kg||83|
|12||5x8016P743||ALTONIO (NZ)||Pat Carey||James Winks||1||54kg||80|