Prince avoids race trouble to book winter trip
PRINCE Fawaz has rocketed into strong contention for the Group 1 JJ Atkins Plate (1600m) after rebounding off two separate incidents of severe interference on the home turn to score an outstanding win at Royal Randwick.
Jockey Adam Hyeronimus was forced to take evasive action on Prince Fawaz when the colt copped the backwash in a rough and tumble race before recovering to win Saturday's SupporterHub Handicap (1400m).
Reloaded, the hot favourite, shifted out abruptly on the home turn, cannoning into Floreat Pica and creating a domino-life effect with Sea Of Life then bouncing off Floreat Pica on to Prince Fawaz.
The incident occurred just a few strides after Hyeronimus had to check Prince Fawaz off heels.
Hyeronimus said what his colt was able to do next was a demonstration of his emerging talents.
"We were travelling nicely but nothing was taking me into the race so just as I was making a move the interference happened and he skidded on the turn,'' Hyeronimus said.
"But he was able to pick himself up after five strides and then within 100m he had the race won. It takes a pretty fair horse to do that.''
Prince Fawaz ($8) regained his balance and charged down the centre of the track to score by a widening one-and-a-quarter lengths from Reloaded ($1.75 favourite) with Sea Of Life ($7.50) a length away third.
Racing NSW stewards didn't waste any time hauling Reloading's rider, Jason Collett, into the stewards room to explain the home turn incident.
Stewards also took evidence from Hyeronimus, Blaike McDougall (Floreat Pica) and Tim Clark (Sea Of Life) but Collett was the centre of attention.
Collett had Reloaded in third position on the fence coming into the straight when he attempted to shoulder aside a tiring Floreat Pica.
"It doesn't look good,'' Collett told stewards. "He's a two-year-old and it's the first time he has raced inside horses.''
McDougall said Floreat Pica might have overreacted to the incident, telling stewards the interference "looks a lot worse than it actually was".
Reloaded eventually worked his way through but didn't have the acceleration to match the fast-finishing Prince Fawaz.
Ladbrokes reacted to the Randwick result by shortening Prince Fawaz's price into $6 for the JJ Atkins Plate (1600m) at Eagle Farm. The previously unbeaten Reloaded is on $5.
Anthony Cummings, the trainer of Prince Fawaz, said: "The only thing that will happen between now and the JJ Atkins is the float trip.
"He's very fit and improving with racing. The mile at Eagle Farm will suit him better.''
Prince Fawaz broke his maiden at his fourth start but the son of Fastnet Rock has always shown Cummings above- average ability.
"Because he has got so much talent, I put a bit of pressure on him to have a shot at the Champagne Stakes at his second start when he ran fifth,'' Cummings said.
"While he was ready for the mile he wasn't ready to run track record time that day but he learned from that. Often I find with these young horses if you put then in a pressure environment it helps them.
"Then Tommy (Berry) put his hand up for what happened to the colt at Newcastle (unlucky third to Autocratic). I'm just repeating what he said that day but I didn't argue with him.
"What it showed was that Prince Fawaz was ready to run well today and the fact he won doesn't surprise me but the manner he was able to achieve his win did. It was an exceptional effort to overcome the trouble and still beat them so easily.''