Senior part-owner John Richards has revealed the 2016 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) will figure as the final point of call for Prince Of Penzance, ahead of his defence of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November.
Prince Of Penzance has been a notable performer throughout his entire twenty-five start career so far, but undoubtedly found his best condition to date through the 2015 edition of the Spring Carnival; peaking with a dominant performance in the Melbourne Cup.
Having placed second to The United States in the Moonee Valley Cup last year, Richards told Racing Ahead the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) will figure as the horse’s first point of call ahead of a spring campaign that will include a tune-up on Cox Plate Day.
“He’s in wonderful order, the challenge will be to keep him in that condition until the pointy end of the preparations,” Richards said.
“I know Darren has had a program pencilled in for him for some time, and I guess that will be the starting date.
“The only bit I know is that the plan is to run him in the Moonee Valley Cup as a prelude to the Melbourne Cup, which he’s done the last two years.”
Richards said the team and trainer Darren Weir were yet to confirm if Michelle Payne will retain the ride on Prince Of Penzance this time in, who continues to recover from surgery after a nasty fall.
“We’d all love to have her back on again in good condition to ride that horse. I think in the long run, the owners group will leave the decision up to Darren,” he said.
“It will all depend on how Michelle is coming along and it’s hard to measure that. She’s certainly working hard.
“We’ll be very influenced by what Darren thinks.”
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