Trainer Tony Vasil has revealed that classy colt Prince Harada will return to the races in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 1.
Prince Harada has been back in work for over a month and the preparation for his 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing campaign will be stepped up in the next week; with the three-year-old set to contest a jump out at Caulfield tomorrow.
Vasil revealed earlier this month that the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) was the major autumn target for Prince Harada but told TVN yesterday that he would prepare for the $500,000 event at Flemington on March 1 with starts in both the Manfred Stakes and Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 15.
Prince Harada will then head to Sydney for the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, where races like the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and potentially the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) are on the agenda, and Vasil believes that the three starts Melbourne campaign will have the son of Haradasun primed for a tilt at the riches in Sydney.
“I want to leave plenty of juice in the tank for Sydney,” Vasil said.
Prince Harada started the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival as one of the leading contenders for the major three-year-old events, after recording impressive wins in the City Of Ballarat Plate (1000m) and Alternate Railway Handicap (1200m) during the winter, but was unable to record a race win.
He started his campaign with an unlucky second place finish behind Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 31 and started the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) as one of the favourites but finished fifth behind Zoustar.
The well-bred colt was again well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) but was caught wide throughout the race, after starting from barrier 12, and finished a distant sixth behind Long John.
Vasil believes that Prince Harada had no luck in each of his starts in the spring and is expecting an improved effort from what will be a much bigger horse in the autumn.
“He’s 35 kilos heavier, he’s matured and muscled up,” Vasil said.
“He’s mentally more mature and he’s ticking over very nicely.”
Prince Harada is looking to follow in the footsteps of his sire Haradasun who took out the 2007 edition of the Manfred Stakes before winning the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Doncaster Mile during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.