Trainer David Vandyke will now turn his attention to Melbourne with Prince Cheri after the French import scored a narrow win in the Group 3 $125,000 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill today.
Vandyke is hoping to qualify Prince Cheri for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups but will need to win one of the lead up races over the Melbourne Spring Carnival to earn a start.
The Warwick Farm trainer can now go to Melbourne with some confidence and has picked out the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) or the Listed $120,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) both at Flemington on October 5 for his next start.
“He had to step up to 2000m today and he was strong to the line and there was another horse there making him work late,” Vandyke said.
“It was good grinding tough performance and the sort of run that tells us that he is ready to go further.”
“He was three wide there from the six hundred and he just kept going.”
“He was strong to the line but he was on the limit of 54kg, we’ll see how he pulls up and we will probably head to Melbourne for either the Turnbull or the Bart Cummings.”
Prince Cheri, the $2.60 favourite was able to hold off the strong finish of Honorius ($8.50) by a neck with topweight Julienas ($7.50) running on for third.
The race started off sensationally with Lunayir dumping his rider Glyn Schofield shortly after the start and also interfering with Chasse, knocking thaat gelding out of the race.
Lunayir lost his rider and his bridle but continued to run with the field leading into the straight and was actually the first horse across the finish line.