Emerging stayer Steel Prince made it five wins from five starts this campaign and earned himself a start in this year’s Melbourne Cup with another game performance in Saturday’s $A400,000 Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington.
Steel Prince’s trainer Anthony Freedman said he was pleased to see the gelding come out on top in the listed contest, with him holding out the fast finishing Surprise Baby by a head at the end of the 2800m event.
“What a fantastic race,” Freedman said. “They’re both wonderful stayers and neither wanted to lose.
“This horse (Steel Prince), just didn’t want to lie down and when the other horse came to him he dug in for the fight. He’s earned his chance and he’ll run well in a Melbourne Cup and I’d be fairly confident he’d get a nice cheque.”
As to plans for the gelding before the race, Freedman said: “I’d probably only run him three times before the Melbourne Cup, maybe four. And we’ve learned a lot about him as the preparation went on.”
New Zealand-trained Felaar, from the Stephen Marsh stable, finished a well beaten 10th in Saturday’s race.