Thorn Prince set for WFA challenge
Weight-for-age racing shouldn’t hold any fears for stakes performer Thorn Prince, according to his trainer Fraser Auret.
The Marton stayer is likely to go in that direction after Saturday’s Gr.3 Merial Ancare Metric Mile at Awapuni.
“He’s a big, strong horse and he carried 59kg all right in the Taumarunui Gold Cup,” Auret said.
“He’s on a Rating of 97 now so he’s not going to be that easy to place in handicaps in the future.”
Thorn Prince holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Livamol Spring Classic at Hastings on October 4 and Auret is happy to go down that path.
“I’ll get a good line on him on Saturday and if he puts up his hand then I’d certainly consider it – particularly if there’s a bit of rain around,” he said.
Thorn Prince hasn’t raced since he finished third in the Listed Taumarunui Gold Cup at Te Rapa in July and he will give Auret a strong hand at Awapuni this weekend with Julinsky Prince also to run in the feature mile.
“They’ve had three good jump-outs and are both quite forward, I’ve been tickled pink with them,” he said.
Julinsky Prince has an excellent record on the Palmerston North track with wins in the Manawatu ITM Anzac 1600 and the Rangitikei Gold Cup at Listed level during his last preparation.
He hasn’t been out since he finished seventh at weight-for-age in the Listed Ag Challenge Stakes at Wanganui at the end of May.
“He’s not a very big horse at all and I’ve got reservations about him carrying weight,” Auret said. “Johnathon (Parkes) thinks he will, but I’m just not so sure.”
The Merial Mile is notable for the inclusion of Puccini with trainers Peter and Jacob McKay heading to Awapuni due to the uncertainty of gaining a start in the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate a week later. – NZ Racing Desk.