Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance is set to make his 2016 Adelaide Festival Of Racing appearance in the Group 3 $150,000 Robert & Fay Gerald R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 21.
Trainer Darren Weir has prepared Prince Of Penzance for his comeback run with a 1000m barrier trial at Terang last Tuesday with his Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne back in the saddle.
“He’ll probably run in that and go out but we’ll see,” Weir told the Herald Sun.
“He stretched out nicely and got past half the starters in the last little bit.”
Payne created history when she became the first female jockey to win the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the 100-1 outsider Prince Of Penzance during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Owner Sandy McGregor said that Prince Of Penzance would only have the one Autumn Carnival run before being set for another Spring Carnival campaign heading towards the Melbourne Cup again.
“He is only going to have one run and he’ll pretty much then do exactly what he did last preparation, but probably more in the weight-for-age side because he will be handicapped out of anything else,” McGregor told the Herald Sun.
“His best chance would be the Moonee (Valley) Cup.”
“With set weights and penalties, why wouldn’t he run well in that again?”
“If he runs well in that again, we’ll be able to push onto the Melbourne Cup.”
Prince Of Penzance had to overcome a number of obstacles before he claimed his place in history with his upset win in last year’s Melbourne Cup.
The six year old had to come back from two bone chip operations and also had to recover from a severe bout of colic.
“It was pretty crook, he had colic and a twisted bowel,’’ Weir said.
“But we are so lucky the Ballarat Vet Clinic was nearby and they were able to save him.’’
“This horse has had two joint operations and they are not easy for a horse to get over.’’
“Each one of them takes a certain amount of a horse’s ability.
“We are lucky we have the straight track at Ballarat and the Warrnambool beach stable set-up because we have been able to manage his injuries.”
Prince Of Penzance is the winner of seven of his twenty-four race starts and has earned just over $4.4 million for his connections.