Seven year old Prince Cheri has been out of the winner’s stall for just over two years but trained David Vandyke is giving him a great chance to break the drought in the Listed $300,000 Ballarat Cup (2200m) at Ballarat on Saturday.
Prince Cheri last tasted victory with a win in the Group 3 $125,000 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill during the 2013 Sydney Spring Carnival but Vandyke said that he is showing sign that another win isn’t far away.
“If he brings his A-game tomorrow, he’ll be very hard to beat,” Vandyke told Racing.com’s Racing Ahead on RSN.
Vandyke said that Prince Cheri is an on pace runner and Mark Zahra should have no problem letting the brown stallion stride forward form barrier thirteen in the eighteen horse field.
“He’ll need some luck from the alley, but he does race on pace. I’m sure Zahra will roll forward and take up a prominent position,” the Warwick Farm trainer said.
Prince Cheri showed some glimpses of his best form with a last start third, after leading, to Ruling Dynasty in the Listed $100,000 City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Randwick on October 17 with 56.5kg and Vandyke said the extra 0.5kg in the Ballarat Cup won’t be a concern.
“We know he’s going to run the 2200m right out (and) 57kg is a fine weight for him to carry,” Vandyke said.
“He only got beat in his younger days by 3.4 lengths by Boban and It’s A Dundeel carrying 59 in weight-for-age conditions, so 57 shouldn’t worry him in a Listed handicap.”
Vandyke has kept Prince Cheri’s mind focus with a win in a 1200m Warwick Farm barrier trial on November 9.
“He won that trial last week,” Vandyke said.
Even though Prince Cheri has raced twice in Melbourne over the Spring Carnival, Vandyke still has some reservations if he is comfortable racing in the anti-clockwise direction.
“The only query I’ve got is the travel down to Melbourne, and running the Melbourne way of going.
“That’s the big stumbling block for him tomorrow.”
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While Vandyke is reasonably confident of a bold showing in the Ballarat Cup, bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have different thoughts and he has been a major drifter in the betting from $12 to his current quote of $21.
In a fairly open betting race, the Robert Smerdon trained Ungrateful Ellen heads the market order at $5.50 with Darren Weir’s Akzar and Sysmo from the Tony McEvoy stable sharing the second line of betting at $9.
Ballarat Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5.50 Ungrateful Ellen, $9 Akzar, Sysmo, $10 Mujadale, Tooleybuc Kid, $11 Index Linked, $14 Zayam, Maygrove, $15 Don Doremo, Sonntag, $16 Pondarosa Miss, $19 Digitalism, Junoob, $21 Prince Cheri, $34 Crafty Cruiser, $41 Lord Durante, $61 Wales, $101 Tanby.