The 2014 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) is shaping up to be one of the most exciting editions of the race in recent years; with trainer Tony Vasil revealing that Prince Harada is on track to join the likes of Shamus Award, Polanski and El Roca in the field for the $500,000 race.
Big things were expected of Prince Harada at the start of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, after he started his career with wins in the City Of Ballarat Plate (1000m) and Alternate Railway Handicap (1200m) in the autumn, but he was unable to record a race win.
Prince Harada started his spring campaign with an unlucky second place finish behind Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m); a race in which the son of Haradasun was badly checked by Blue Diamond winner Miracles Of Life with 100 metres left to run.
The three-year-old went into the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) as one of the favourite but once again had little luck, receiving a check and being blocked for a run in the final stages of the race, and could finish no better than fifth before returning to the races a month later to finish sixth in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Vasil believes that plenty went against Prince Harada during the spring but remains confident that the classy colt is good enough to record a Group 1 victory; starting with the Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 1 next year.
“It was a combination of not much luck, barriers that didn’t suit him and probably at the end of the day he was still six months away from being what he potentially looks to be,” Vasil told AAP.
“He’s a Group One horse waiting to happen.
“He’s going through the cycle of getting fit and he looks fantastic.
“The goal is the Australian Guineas in the short term and he won’t have too many runs before that race with the thought of taking him to Sydney.”
Prince Harada will more than likely have more than one opportunity to record his maiden Group 1 victory in the autumn; with the Randwick Guineas (1600m), Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and potentially even the Doncaster Handicap, which was won by his sire Haradasun in 2007, looking like ideal races for the talented colt during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.