Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance is among the nominations for the Group 3 $150,000 Robert & Fay Gerard R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Seventeen horses were nominated for the R A Lee Stakes with the well performed Alpine Eagle from the Tony McEvoy stables also among the entries.
Trainer Darren Weir has only pencilled in one run for Prince Of Penzance during the Adelaide Festival Of Racing and then will give the six year old a short break before preparing him to defend his crown in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
“Probably just have one. He had a huge campaign obviously to the Cup and then did a bit of touring around with me.” Weir said.
“He is a very sound happy horse. There is no reason not to go again. At this stage it is full steam ahead to the Melbourne Cup.
“I just wanted to give him a really good spell, give him a run in Adelaide. It is a nice race for him, stretch his legs and then have an easy couple of weeks after that and then get back into a preparation for the Spring.”
Weir is leaning towards a weight for age Spring campaign for Prince Of Penzance leading up to the Melbourne Cup with the exception of the Group 2 $250,000 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley which is run under set weights with penalties.
Prince Of Penzance has a great record in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, winning it in 2014 before running second last year to The United States at his final run before winning the Melbourne Cup.
“He has going to run in that sort of races (WFA) weight wise,” Weir said.
“I didn’t expect to win the Cup last year, when he was well weighted. This year he is going as good as he ever has. Top ten chance again we will be aiming for.”
“I think realistically the race he could win would be the Moonee Valley Cup. He has run well in that, he gets in okay on the weights, and it is perfect timing before the big race.”
“We will be focusing on the Moonee Valley Cup. If he runs well in that, his form will be good for the Melbourne Cup then.”
McEvoy looks likely to follow Weir’s lead and only give Alpine Eagle one run during the Adelaide Festive Of Racing before preparing him for the Spring Carnival.
Alpine Eagle is resuming from an enforced injury lay off after he suffered a cracked pedal bone and has been to the races since running sixth to Fawkner in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last September.
“We’ve had no issues at all with it,” McEvoy told AAP.
“He’s got confidence in his action. He’s done everything really well.
“He’ll just have this race and then I’ll sweeten him up for a few weeks and we’ll target the spring.”
Weir’s other nominations for the R A Lee Stakes are well performed Atlantis Dream, last start Morphettville winner Tonopah and English import Tall Ship.
Nominations for the R A Lee Stakes: Alcohol. Alpine Eagle, Atlantis Dream, Dylanson, Flow Meter, Four By Four, Guest Of Honour, Hi World, Holy Coe, Kingdoms, Prince Of Penzance, Qadir, Rhythm To Spare, Rocket Commander, Tall Ship, Tenere, Tonopah.