Trainer Darren Weir is thrilled with the condition of notable stayer Prince Of Penzance but has conceded the six-year-old faces a monumental task in overcoming a talented field at Flemington this afternoon, and is probably fairly treated at long odds in 2015 Melbourne Cup betting markets.
Clearly needing the run and more distance when returning this time for eighth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 29th, Prince Of Penzance continued to steadily improve in placing fifth in each of the Gold Nugget Handicap (1600m) and Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m).
Unlucky to be hampered late when eighth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) on October 10th, the Pentire gelding received a good tune-up for the Melbourne Cup when a close second to The United States in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) on October 24th.
Weir confirmed regular hoop Michelle Payne will retain the ride on Prince Of Penzance in this afternoon’s 2015 Melbourne Cup but is unsure how the horse will stack up against a particularly talented field.
“I’m not sure whether he’s good enough but a top ten finish would be a good result,” Weir said earlier this week.
Prince Of Penzance has been a strong and consistent performer for Weir since first appearing on course competitively through the 2013 Autumn Carnival; posting six wins and eight minors through 23 starts.
Arguably registering career-best form to date through his 2014 racing campaign, Prince Of Penzance capped a strong autumn campaign with success in the Listed Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) and second in the Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m); returning in spring for a few mid-pack finishes before placing second in the Moe Cup.
Returning to winning form in the Moonee Valley Cup, Prince Of Penzance progressed to second in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) and returned to the paddock after running third in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
Ladbrokes.com.au currently rates Prince Of Penzance a $101 chance for success in 2015 Melbourne Cup betting markets and $22.50 to finish in the first three.
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