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Steel Prince chasing Caulfield Cup spot

steel prince
Steel Prince (r) will chase ballot-free entry to the Caulfield Cup in the MRC Foundation Cup.

With his place in the Melbourne Cup already assured, Steel Prince gets an opportunity to win his way into the Caulfield Cup.

Steel Prince has the second start of his spring preparation at Caulfield in Saturday’s Group Three MRC Foundation Cup (2000m) which carries a ballot exemption to the winner into the $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.

The Anthony Freedman-trained Steel Prince is being aimed at the $8 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5 having secured his spot with victory in The Andrew Ramsden (2800m) in May.

He is 62nd in the Caulfield Cup ballot and assistant trainer Sam Freedman believes he would be competitive if he gained a start.

Otherwise he is likely have his final Melbourne Cup lead-up in the Herbert Power Stakes a week earlier.

“We’d love to run him in the Caulfield Cup so his fitness levels are up to the mark for a 2000-metre race,” Sam Freedman said.

“He seems to have come on from his first-up run. His coat has improved and he seems in a really good frame of mind.

“If things go his way and he gets into a nice spot from the draw, he definitely could win tomorrow.

“He races so well at Caulfield and he puts in 100 per cent every time. It’s a competitive race and they’re not easy to win but it wouldn’t surprise to see him win.”

From an awkward draw, Freedman said they would like to see Clayton Douglas roll across on Steel Prince and try to settle in the first six.

The six-year-old, who hit the line strongly for fourth in the Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) on August 31, was at $6.50 on Friday.

Dual stakes-winning colt I Am Immortal makes his season return in a 1000m race for three-year-olds on Saturday.

Freedman said the free-running colt had taken a long time to get fit after a spell but was confident the sprinter was now ready to go.

Blue Diamond winner Lyre was scratched from the Danehill Stakes last Saturday because of “a dirty scope” a couple of days before the race and instead runs in an 1100m handicap on Saturday with a view to backing up eight days later in the Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m).

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