Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance continues to edge closer to an Autumn Carnival return with a solid gallop with stablemate Tall Ship at Warrnambool yesterday.
Prince Of Penzance with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne in the saddle galloped over 800m with the imported Tall Ship (John Allen) in between races on the first day of the three day Warrnambool Carnival.
Trainer Darren Weir was very pleased with the work and said that Prince Of Penzance was on track to resume in the Group 3 $150,000 Robert & Fay Gerard R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on May 21.
“I thought (Prince Of Penzance) worked terrific,” Weir told racing.com.
“I thought they both stretched out great the last 600m.
“They were a little bit slow early but they’re both in beautiful order and their actions looked great.
“The ground is perfect for those horses.
“Both horses are right where I want them to be.”
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.”
Prince Of Penzance won the 2015 Melbourne Cup at the huge odds of $101 and is currently listed at $51 at Ladbrokes.com.au to make it back to back wins in ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’.
Japanese stayer Fame Game and The United States currently head the market order at $17 ahead of last year’s runner up Max Dynamite, Irish stayer Order Of St George, Victoria Derby winner Tarzino and Prince Of Penzance’s stablemate Signoff all at $21.