Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance will have one Autumn Carnival run in the Group 3 $150,000 R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 21.
Trainer Darren Weir had said that Prince Of Penzance would have an easy Autumn before being prepared to defend his Melbourne Cup Crown and part owner Sandy McGregor said the team is looking forward to heading back to Flemington for the 2016 Group 1 $6m Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday in November.
“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.
McGregor said an Adelaide Cup and a Sydney Cup campaign was virtually out of the question during the Autumn because Prince Of Penzance would be weighted out of all the staying handicap races.
And the wet tracks in Sydney during the Autumn months would not suit the six year old.
“If we revved him up, what would he win?,” McGregor said.
“He doesn’t really handle wet ground either. He gets through dead and slow but doesn’t like it too wet.”
Prince Of Penzance has raced in the Group 2 $250,000 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley for the last two years with a win in 2014 and a second last year on his way to winning the Melbourne Cup at 100-1 with winning jockey Michelle Payne creating history as the first female rider to win Australia’s greatest race.
And McGregor said another Melbourne Cup campaign could see Prince Of Penzance tackle the Moonee Valley Gold Cup for a third consecutive year.
“His best chance would be the Moonee (Valley) Cup,” McGregor said..
“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.”
Only a handful of horses have won the Melbourne Cup more than once with the mighty staying mare Makybe Diva winning three times in 2003, 2004 and 2005, while Thing Big, Rain Lover, Peter Pan and Archer all winning it on two occasions.
While back to back wins is a rare feat, McGregor is hoping for another miracle with Prince Of Penzance.
“It’s hard to imagine he could win it again, I would have thought,” McGregor said.
“But miracles have happened, he’s got the good trainer and he is going to be seven.”
In early 2016 Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Prince Of Penzance is listed at $41 with Japanese stayer Fame Game heading the market order at $17 with last year’s runner up Max Dynamite and Irish trained Order Of St George.