Trainer David Vandyke has been thrilled with the form displayed by Prince Cheri through recent weeks and is confident the talented stayer is a realistic chance of success in Saturday’s 2015 Ballarat Cup (2200m).
Posting four wins and a further three minors through only 14 career starts so far, Prince Cheri has appeared on course only four times this year; returning in June for a credible fourth in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) and progressing to eighth in the Craig Opie Cup (1600m) at Moonee Valley in September.
While unable to figure late when tenth in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) on September 19th, Prince Cheri returned to strong form when third in the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) last time out on October 17th.
Vandyke is confident the Lando gelding is at his best with several weeks between runs and is confident he will be very hard to beat in the 2015 Ballarat Cup if he runs to his potential.
“If he brings his A-game tomorrow, he’ll be very hard to beat,” Vandyke told Racing Ahead.
“He’ll need some luck from the alley, but he does race on pace. I’m sure (Mark) Zahra will roll forward and take up a prominent position.
“We know he’s going to run the 2200m right out (and) 57kg is a fine weight for him to carry.
“He only got beat in his younger days by 3.4 lengths by Boban and It’s A Dundeel carrying 59 in weight-for-age conditions, so 57 shouldn’t worry him in a Listed handicap.
“He won that trial last week.
“The only query I’ve got is the travel down to Melbourne, and running the Melbourne way of going.
“That’s the big stumbling block for him tomorrow.”
Capping a strong 2013 campaign sixth in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), Prince Cheri returned in 2014 for sixth in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m); progressing to eighth in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) before returning to the paddock for more than a year after placing fourth in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m).
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Ballarat Cup odds, for which Prince Cheri can be taken at a particularly generous quote of $21 for success.