Emerging apprentice jockey Deanne Panya has been retained to partner Foreign Prince in the Listed Gosford Cup where she will be pitted against champion Melbourne-based rider Damien Oliver.
Trainer David Payne has kept the faith in Panya who is equal-third with Nick Heywood in a tight Sydney apprentice premiership race on 11 wins behind Andrew Adkins (12) and James Innes (13).
Seven entries remained after extended nominations for Friday’s $150,000 Cup (2100m), headlined by Kris Lees-trained Villiers Stakes winner Sense Of Occasion who Oliver has been booked to ride.
Foreign Prince’s forward racing style suits Panya who has a knack for getting front-runners home.
She scored back-to-back wins on the horse in June and partnered him again when he finished second to the Gerald Ryan-trained Red Excitement in the Group Three Summer Cup at Randwick on Boxing Day.
It was a convincing win by Red Excitement who gave three kilograms to Foreign Prince.
“It was a good run,” Payne said.
“The winner was a little bit strong for him but I would say that he would have improved out of the race.
“I think that’s topped him up nicely.”
The pair meet with a 5kg gap in the Cup despite Panya being unable to use her apprentice’s claim in the race.
Godolphin have entered Malice who finished fourth in the Summer Cup and trainer Joe Pride has nominated Destiny’s Kiss to defend the race.
The Chris Waller-trained pair Loophole and Index Linked round out the nominations.
“It’s a tough field but he’ll be competitive,” Payne said.
“He’s going in nice and well so expect a good run from him.”
The other feature races on Gosford Cup day are the Group Three Belle Of The Turf Stakes, a 1600m race for fillies and mares, and the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m).