The chances of progressive stayer Prince Cheri qualifying for the 2013 Caulfield Cup (2400m) have suffered a setback after the imported entire failed to gain a run in either the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens or the Listed Slickpix Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Prince Cheri is the second emergency for the staying contest at Rosehill and will require four runners to be scratched to gain a run in the race formerly known as the Heatherlie Handicap.
Trainer David Vandyke now appears likely to settle for a run in the Ranvet Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill as he believes it is vital that the son of Lando has another race under his belt, following his first up third behind Pretty Pins in the Calcoup Knitwear Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on August 10, before heading to the Melbourne for a tilt at the Caulfield Cup.
“The horse has come ahead nicely since his first-up win,” Vandyke said on Sky Racing HQ.
“I think the three weeks between runs after a hard run mile at Randwick is ideal.
“We have nominated and accepted in the 1500 metre benchmark 95.
“It is crucial that he runs on Saturday going forward.”
Vandyke’s plan has always been to attempt to qualify Prince Cheri for the Caulfield Cup and he is set to bring the lightly-raced four-year-old to Melbourne after he runs in Sydney on Saturday.
Prince Cheri will be targeted at the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 21, a race that offers the winner ballot exemption for the Caulfield Cup, before a possible crack at the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5, which also offers ballot exemption but is expected to draw a much stronger field.
Vandyke is chasing his first Caulfield Cup runner after recently retired stable favourite Lamasery missed the race due to injury last year.