Front runner Foreign Prince will again be asked to set the pace in the Listed $160,000 McKimms Real Estate Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton on Thursday.
Foreign Prince has won six of his seven victories from the front and trainer David Payne said that he will be instructing Jason Collett to find the front again after the five year old finished third last start when restrained in behind the pace in the Listed $100,000 ATC Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on July 2.
“We tried something different last run and I don’t think he appreciated it and this soft surface is where he races best,” Payne told Racing New South Wales News.
“I wanted to keep the same jockey on because he said to me that the horse would be better rolling (forward) and he knows him better now.”
Foreign Prince has drawn the outside barrier in the fifteen horse field, but that won’t worry Payne who said the High Chaparral gelding will be able to easily work forward from that gate.
“He’s drawn a bit awkward but we’ll ride him in his usual pattern and go forward and hopefully get a lead unless they’re going too quick and he’ll sit in behind one or two,” Payne said.
Foreign Prince can provide Payne with his first Grafton Cup win although it wasn’t originally in his Winter plans but decided to keep racing him while he was in good form.
“He’s fit and well and he’s a versatile horse who is so honest. He always puts his best foot forward and tries his hardest,” Payne said.
Payne has steadily increased Foreign Prince’s distances throughout his latest campaign and after winning over 1800m and 2000m at Rosehill on June 4 and June 18, had no problem about stepping him up in distance in the 2400m Winter Cup and in the 2350m Grafton Cup.
“I don’t think it (distance) will worry him because he’s such a relaxed horse once he gets in front. We just need a bit of luck and it would be lovely to win,” Payne said.
Foreign Prince is well in contention in the market order at Ladbrokes.com.au and is marked on the third line of betting at $8.50 for the Grafton Cup.
The John O’Shea trained Malice heads the market order at $4.60 ahead of the top weight Index Linked, Toowoomba stayer Jumbo Prince and the Tony Gollan trained Amexed all marked at $5.50.
Grafton Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Malice, $5.50 Amexed, Index Linked, Jumbo Prince, $8.50 Foreign Prince, $15 Teronado, $18 Jiayuguan, $19 All Clear, $21 Brave Ali, $26 Swift Lady, $31 Egyptian Ruler, Rednav, $41 Dream Folk, $67 Light Motion, $101 Kingston Time.