When John O’Shea resumed training after cutting ties with Godolphin, Prince Cheri shaped as just the sort of runner he required to establish his stable.
The nine-year-old is no world beater but is proven at Listed or Group Three level.
“He’s been a great old horse, exactly what I needed. A horse going round on a Saturday,” O’Shea said.
Now overseeing a team of 45, O’Shea acquired Prince Cheri from trainer David Vandyke when owner Angelo Vasili opted to move him from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney in September
O’Shea, who had his last runner as Godolphin’s head trainer in May, has started Prince Cheri in three black-type races since October, most recently in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) on December 16 in which he finished third.
Prince Cheri will attempt to win for the first time since 2013 when he lines up in the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Randwick on Monday.
“He’s been great. He’s been very consistent in every run for us. We’ve been able to put a bit of time into him, so it’s worked out all right,” O’Shea said.
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Lightly raced because of back problems, Prince Cheri had almost two years off up to September and Monday’s staying test is just his 22nd career start.
“He’s a little tricky to ride. A lot of things have got to go his way to win at this stage of his career but every time we put him in he’s had a red hot go,” O’Shea said.
“If we can get something to bring us into the race he can run well and having that run at the mile and a half helped him.
“He’s the sort of horse that’s got a short turn of foot. If you can just cuddle him up a little bit longer I reckon he might be a chance.”
Prince Cheri, who has barrier seven of eight with Corey Brown to ride, must turn the tables on the Chris Waller-trained Christmas Cup winner Vassal and runner-up Broadside to gain a long-awaited win.
Broadside is the favourite and co-trainer Adrian Bott is confident the gelding can justify that billing.
“I thought he ran a really good race last start. He’s come through that in good order and should improve again fitness-wise,” he said.