Ten-time Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Melody Belle...
The 2019 Melbourne Cup is the likely fourth-up target for progressive stayer Steel Prince who heads towards a run in the world’s richest handicap on the first Tuesday of November.
Mornington horseman Anthony Freedman is hoping to be represented in the ‘race that stops a nation’ having only recently had his galloper Steel Prince’s Melbourne Cup ballot exemption confirmed.
The horse won his ballot free ride into the Group 1 $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) with a nail-biting victory at Flemington Racecourse on May 25 in the Listed $400,000 Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m).
Since that was cleared up, Freedman has been preparing Steel Prince for his return with the Nathaniel six-year-old likely to run first-up on August 31 in Caulfield’s Listed $140,000 Heatherlie Stakes (1700m) according to co-trainer Sam Freedman.
Freedman spoke to Racenet this week following the horse’s first official trial of the season when going through the gears over 1190m on a Heavy (10) track at Cranbourne.
“Steel Prince did what we wanted. That Heavy ground, he didn’t really like it and there were some sharper horses in the trial as well,” he said.
“Ollie (jockey Damien Oliver) was really happy with him and Ollie knows him well. He said he was good through the line.
“He’ll probably start off in the Heatherlie and he’ll just improve the whole way through.”
The coveted Spring Cups double could also be on the cards for Steel Prince with Freedman confirming the stable was considering a lead-up run via the Group 1 $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.
“The Caulfield Cup is definitely on the radar,” he said.
“Either that or the Herbert Power will probably be his third-up run and he’ll go to the Melbourne Cup fourth-up.
“If the Caulfield Cup looks like the right race for him, that’s definitely an option.”
All-in Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au list Steel Prince as a genuine winning hope at $26.
The 2019 Melbourne Cup nominations close on August 29.
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