Lightly raced Prince Of Penzance resumes in the $80,000 Western Heath Handicap (1410m) at Flemington on Saturday with the 2014 Caulfield Cup in trainer Darren Weir’s mind for the four year old.
Weir had to turn his attention to a 2014 Spring Carnival campaign for Prince Of Penzance after he had to cancel a Queensland Derby venture this year when the then three year old chipped a bone in a fetlock and required surgery after winning over 2000m at Flemington on May 4.
That win at Flemington had shown Weir enough to tempt him to go to Brisbane for the Group 1 $500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm during the Winter Carnival but he had to change tact and will try to qualify him for the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield in October.
A good performance at Flemington is what Weir is anticipating before he sets his sights on the Listed $350,000 Mornington Cup (2400m) at Mornington on February 12, the winner of which is exempt from the ballot for the Caulfield Cup.
Weir has given the Pentire gelding plenty of time to recover from his surgery and expects him to race well after showing plenty of potential during his last preparation.
“He did a lot wrong in his last run but he he’s grown up in himself and he’s a lot better,” Weir told AAP.
“He has matured in himself and in his brain as well, so we’re hoping that will help him.”
“He’s had two trials and Michelle has ridden him. She has been happy with him.”
Michelle Payne has been the regular rider for Prince Of Penzance in all of his five starts which include three wins for the pair.
Prince Of Penzance scored at his first race start over 1300m at Stawell in March and two starts later scored over 1600m at Ballarat.
Weir then brought Prince Of Penzance to town where he was beaten a head by Hunger in a three year old handicap over 1800m before he won at Flemington against the three year olds.
Prince Of Penzance has been installed the second favourite in the Western Heath Handicap at $7.50 in a wide betting race that has the Nikki Burke trained Nautical the top pick at $6.50.
The Peter Moody trained Grand Slam Eagle is also in the betting at $8 just ahead of Sistine Demon at $8.50.