How the David Payne-trained Foreign Prince performs in the Winter Cup at Rosehill on Saturday will confirm or deny a 2016 Grafton Cup run for the New Zealand-bred galloper this month.
High Chaparral five-year-old Foreign Prince is in top form this Sydney Winter Racing Carnival coming off back-to-back wins at Rosehill Gardens from June.
Two back the gelding scored with a light 51kg on his back over 1800m on a Heavy (10) track before his runaway three length success over 2000m back at the track on June 18.
While as yet untested over further than 2000m, local Rosehill-based horseman Payne is confident Foreign Prince can more than hold his own in Saturday’s $100,000 Listed ATC Winter Cup (2400m).
He goes up three kilos from his last run carrying 56kg in the handicap clash over the mile and a half, but with the big margin to spare for his recent win Payne believes the horse deserves a shot in the staying stakes showdown.
The ATC Winter Cup weights are led by the Chris Waller-trained duo of Junoob and Index Linked on 61kg, the latter on the quick back-up after winning the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) carrying 57kg last Saturday at Eagle Farm in Brisbane.
If all goes well and Foreign Prince proves himself under the kilos over the distance at that class, Payne will back him up on July 14 in the $160,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m), a race he gained automatic entry in with his latest victory.
Currently working in his favour for the weekend is the likely wet Sydney track, Foreign Prince a confirmed mudlark with an impressive record on Heavy going (6-3-1-1).
He will have a jockey change with senior rider Jason Collett coming aboard to replace apprentice Deanne Panya in the saddle on Saturday.
Payne will instruct Collett to ride Foreign Prince more quietly than his recent runs in an attempt to get him to stretch out over the 2400m.
“I want to give him every chance to get the 2400 metres so I will be telling the stewards we don’t want him to lead,” Payne told AAP.
“I want to see him settle. We have put Jason on simply because it is a non-claiming race.
“If the horse does prove he can get over the distance we will take him to Grafton.”
After attracting a dismal numbers at early entry stage, Racing NSW extended the Winter Cup nominations and drew six more hopefuls on Tuesday morning.
There are now officially 13 in the mix include not only the aforementioned Tattersall’s Cup winner from last Saturday in Brisbane Index Linked but also runner-up in the same lead-up Tucanchoo for Team Hawkes.
Darren Weir has two entries with Backbone and his recent Listed Ramsden Stakes (3200m) winner over the two miles at Flemington from May 21 Glorious Sinndar who has won his past three starts.
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