Caspian Prince ready to take on the World at Newbury on Saturday
Caspian Prince is set to contest the £60,000 Group Three Dubai International Airport World Trophy (4pm) over five furlongs at Newbury on Saturday, September 23, ahead of a potential tilt at the $1-million G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar, USA, in November.
Caspian Prince joined North Yorkshire trainer Tony Coyle earlier this year and, at the age of eight, is in the form of his life with a career-best rating of 115, the highest among the 24 entries for Saturday’s race.
The five-furlong specialist landed his third Investec Dash Handicap at Epsom Downs in June and defeated G1 Nunthorpe Stakes heroine Marsha by a short-head in the G2 Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh on July 15.
His only start since saw him finish fourth to Caravaggio on testing ground in the G2 Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on September 10.
Coyle said today: “Caspian Prince definitely runs at Newbury on Saturday. He is in good order following his run at the Curragh and has not done a lot since.
“He does not take a lot to keep him ready. He has been out in the field and will have a couple of canters this week.
“It was just a shame the ground went against him at the Curragh, but he still ran a blinder in the circumstances.
“We will get Saturday out the way first, but the Breeders’ Cup could be on his agenda as the owner [Stephen Louch] is keen to give it a go. This would be his last run before then because he would have to go into quarantine.
“He is eight years old and in the form of his life. He has had a brilliant year. He is a bit of a freak as people forget that he is by Dylan Thomas and yet is so quick over five furlongs. He is an incredible horse.”
The $1-million G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar, California, USA, takes place over five furlongs on Saturday, November 4.
Caspian Prince’s opponents on Saturday could include G1 King’s Stand Stakes fourth Muthmir (William Haggas), G2 Flying Five Stakes second Alphabet (Aidan O’Brien) and Cotai Glory (Charlie Hills), who was a place behind Caspian Prince at the Curragh and had previously finished third in the G1 Nunthorpe Stakes.
Take Cover (David Griffiths), a two-time winner of the G2 King George Stakes at Goodwood, is also engaged, along with G2 Temple Stakes heroine Priceless (Clive Cox).
Popular 10-year-old Take Cover, who likes to make the running, comes into Saturday’s race on the back of a decisive success in the Listed Beverley Bullet on September 2, when he defeated Final Venture in characteristic fashion by a length.
Trainer David Griffiths said today: “Take Cover has come out of the Beverley Bullet well and it is all systems go for Newbury.
“I was bit worried going to Beverley because of the stiff finish but he pulled out plenty and Tom [Queally] gave him a great ride. I was delighted because, although he should really be winning Listed races given that he is a dual G2 winner, you have still got to get there right and well on the day.
“He can have a real go at these Listed and G3 races and he should be really competitive without the penalty. Hopefully, he can do the job on Saturday.”