Former Godolphin head-trainer John O’Shea was responsible for one the most outstanding feats of his brilliant career when 9-year-old Prince Cheri (by Lando) landed the $150,000, Listed, Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) to record his first victory since September 2013.
A journeyman stayer that began his racing career in France back in 2012 before being transferred to Australia and in to the care of David Vandyke, Prince Cheri joined the newly reformed John O’Shea stable towards the backend of last year and has shown steady progress in four previous starts under his new handler.
Ridden with perfection by Corey Brown, Prince Cheri was today seen back to something akin to his very best form when winning with an air of authority in a quality Festive Season mile-and-a-half event.
Piloted by ace jockey Corey Brown, Prince Cheri showed the benefits of a thoroughly considerate ride which saw the veteran performer loom outside of the leaders with 200 metres to race.
Once shaken up to take control of the contest, the seasoned son of Lando put his head in front of last-start Christmas Cup (LR) winner Vassal (by Dansili) before going on to win by half-a-length.
Finishing third, a length in arrears of the runner-up, was top-weight Destiny’s Kiss (by Power of Destiny), another spritely 9-year-old competitor.
Speaking immediately after the win (his second of the day), a revitalised John O’Shea commented: “He’s just been crying out for that ride when you can hold him up for as long as you can. He’s got a great turn of foot over 200 metres, but you can’t be flushing him out too early; there’s none better than C. Brown to do that.
“I’m very appreciative of Corey. I’m very appreciative of the staff to get the old horse back winning. And of course I’m very appreciative of the Vasili family to send me the horse. I know that he’s a very special horse to their family and we treat him accordingly.”
O’Shea added: “I think there are a couple of things to take in to account [regarding his longevity]. He’s just got a wonderful demeanour. He’s a very happy horse. And he’s by a German stallion Lando… and is bred to race best later on in his career. The way he gets about his work at the stable is indicative of that.”
Prince Cheri was having only the 22nd start of his career and has now won five races and placed on another five occasions for $339,982 in prizemoney. The stallion is raced in the interests of Mr A Vasili, Mr R S Jones and Mr W Vasili, for whom he also won the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) in 2013 under the guidance of David Vandyke.
Prince Cheri was returned at the SP of $6.00, runner-up Vassal at $3.80, and minor placegetter Destiny’s Kiss at $12.00. Broadside started the contest as the $2.05 favourite but could only finish fourth.
Winning time of the event was 2m31.24s (last 600m in 34.88s).
Tattersall's Club Cup, photo finish picture ATC