Trainer David Vandyke is ignoring earlier doubts to declare a revised spring timetable for Prince Cheri has worked out for the best with the Metropolitan favourite.
Chasing his first Group One win at Randwick on Saturday, Vandyke has had to switch Prince Cheri’s campaign in a bid to boost the import’s handicap rating.
The Warwick Farm trainer has Caulfield Cup ambitions for Prince Cheri but he abandoned early Melbourne plans in favour of running in the Kingston Town Stakes in Sydney.
Prince Cheri justified that move with a win over Ironstein and the import was promoted to the top of betting for the Metropolitan when Vandyke confirmed he would try to book a Caulfield Cup berth through Saturday’s Group One.
Vandyke says his concern about the time between the Kingston Town Stakes and the Metropolitan harming Prince Cheri’s Randwick chances has proven to be unfounded.
“I was a little bit apprehensive about whether the three weeks between runs was going to be too long,” Vandyke said.
“I now believe that will be perfect.”
Prince Cheri shades Moriarty for Metropolitan favouritism and the former French stayer will complete the main part of his preparation for the race on Tuesday morning.
“He’ll have a good serious piece of work on the course proper at Warwick Farm to see where we are at,” Vandyke said.
Bookmakers tightened Prince Cheri into $4 for the Metropolitan with Moriarty at $4.40 when it was confirmed promising Victorian stayer Star Rolling would be staying at home.
Vandyke will have two chances at a breakthrough Group One win on Saturday with Arabian Gold confirmed to take her place in the Flight Stakes.
But he concedes it’s only a remote possibility Arabian Gold can reverse a Tea Rose Stakes defeat to Guelph.
“I can understand why horses would be avoiding clashing with Guelph because she is certainly the standout filly this year,” he said.
“But from the owners’ perspective I think it would be a good result to run second or third in a Flight Stakes with it being a Group One.”
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