Albany trio set for Prince Of Wales Stakes showdown
Winterbottom Stakes prospect Dream Lifter will commence his new campaign in Saturday’s $150,000 Prince of Wales Stakes (1000m) at Ascot on Saturday afternoon, one of three Albany gallopers to contest the Group 3 race.
There will be a strong Albany flavour in the weight-for-age feature race with Dream Lifter joined by fellow stars Potent Secret and Mr Utopia in a field of 11 runners.
Nominated for December’s $1 million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), Dream Lifter will start first-up in the Prince Of Wales for Albany trainer Paul Hunter after drawing barrier two with 58.5kg on his back.
Hunter and connections were tossing up whether their star sprinter would begin his campaign in the Prince Of Wales or wait until the Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) in a fortnight but decided to start his campaign this week.
“We will go around on Saturday, it’s a good, even field,” Hunter said.
“All the summer carnival horses are coming back now so there is certainly no hiding.
“We were really pleased with his trial, how he went and especially how he pulled up.
“He had a good run first-up in a 1000m last year and hopefully he goes well.”
Regular rider Mitchell Pateman will take the mount as the 2016 Cyril Flower Stakes and Mungrup Stud Sprint winner aims to make it four wins from six first-up attempts.
Potent Secret will resume from a short spell for fellow Albany trainer Roy Rogers and has won over 1000m previously.
However, the seven-year-old will have to overcome an awkward gate, drawn to start in barrier 11 for apprentice Andrew Castle.
“The horse is doing really well but it will be a big ask from the gate,” Rogers said.
“I’m giving Andrew Castle an opportunity in a group race and hopefully he can sit outside the leader or find the front.”
Steve Wolfe will start returning galloper Mr Utopia, who hasn’t been sighted since running 10th in the 2016 Hannans Handicap.
After winning a 1000m trial last month, Mr Utopia will resume from gate seven with Peter Hall aboard and boasts an impressive first-up record of three wins from seven attempts.
“Its way too short for him but he’s in good order,” Wolfe said.
“You will see his best at 1400-1600m but there are limited races for these horses and he is certainly ready to race.”
The Albany trio will go head-to-head at 4.35pm on Saturday.
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