Nordic Empire will be making his racing debut in the Flemington Equine Clinic Plate(1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday and trainer Mick Price rates the unraced colt his best winning chance this weekend.
Nordic Empire has impressed Price in unofficial barrier trials and during trackwork; with the leading Melbourne trainer already eyeing the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast in 2014 for the promising son of Wilander.
Price could have two runners in the Flemington Equine Clinic Plate, with Fastnet Rock filly Royal Ocean also a final acceptor, but based on their trackwork performances on Tuesday he believes that Nordic Empire has his stablemate covered.
“We like the horse and he has always shown good natural two-year-old ability,” Price told Racing Ahead.
“He is a sharp sort of colt and I am sure that he will run very well.
“I’m not sure how much racing he has in him, in an overall sense, but he is smart, sharp and has won trials.
“He worked good here Tuesday and I worked the two two-years-olds together and he had Royal Ocean covered in the gallop.
“He is medium sized and springy but he doesn’t carry a heap of condition at this stage.
“He is sound and bouncy, he is a high nervous energy sort of colt, and he will put himself in a position there somewhere.
“Ollie (Damien Oliver) will find a nice spot for him and he just has to do a little bit under pressure and he will be in the money.”
Price also has a high opinion of Royal Ocean, rating the two-year-old a better long term prospect than Nordic Empire, but revealed that the filly is no certainty to take her place in the field this weekend after she scoped up poorly on Tuesday.
The Blue Diamond winning trainer will wait until Friday afternoon before deciding whether Royal Ocean will make her racing debut but already has another race in mind, next weekend, for the juvenile.
“She is a very nice filly who has trialed well and worked well,” Price said.
“I didn’t think that there was a lot between them until Tuesday and Royal Ocean scoped up with a bit of mucus.
“If she doesn’t scope up good and have a good white blood cell count on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning she won’t be running.
“I won’t be running her unless she is spot-on; there is a race on December 7 for her.”
Price has had a good record with two-year-olds in recent years; taking out the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m), Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) with Samaready in 2012.