Geelong Cup winner Steel Prince charges back into Melbourne Cup calculations

Steel Prince’s Melbourne Cup hopes hinge on handicapper Greg Carpenter’s assessment of the veteran’s tenacious Geelong Cup victory as Anthony and Sam Freedman delivered the quinella with Le Don De Vie.

Precariously placed in the Melbourne Cup’s order of entry at No.36 with a weight of 52.5kg, Steel Prince would be virtually assured of a start if Carpenter gave the gelding the same penalty he applied to Prince Of Arran’s 2019 Geelong Cup success.

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Prince Of Arran received a 1kg penalty for narrowly beating True Self last year before running second (on protest) in the Melbourne Cup.

If Steel Prince is similarly treated, he will run in the Melbourne Cup for a second time, having finished ninth last year behind Vow And Declare after an interrupted preparation.

Jye McNeil steered Steel Prince to victory in the Geelong Cup. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“Hopefully he’ll (Steel Prince) get a penalty to get into the Melbourne Cup and he wouldn’t shirk the task,” co-trainer Sam Freedman said.

“They’re both nice horses. Credit to this horse, he’s incredible.

“He’s obviously been around a while and he keeps turning up and I said to Jye (McNeil) that if you’re right there at the top of the straight he’s a horse that loves a dogfight and he was too strong today.

The tough Steel Prince fights out the finish to win the Group 3 Geelong Cup from Le Don De Vie on the line. pic.twitter.com/caeM9smsTd

“He loves a dogfight. He gets a bit lost when he goes clear of a field so when they come up alongside him he really knuckles down.

“I knew that when he got near the lead he’d definitely be fighting it out, he’s right.

“Steel Prince has probably earnt himself another shot at it, the owners have been really patient with him. They haven’t pushed us to get him into the Melbourne Cup.

“We’ve looked after the horse first and we’ll see how he comes through it. That’ll be the plan at this stage.”

Freedman, who trains in partnership with his father Anthony, is hopeful Le Don De Vie will almost contest the Cup despite sitting at No 38 in the order.

“If he gets in we’ll go to the Cup. If not, there’s a 2600 metre race on the last day that could suit.”

Steel Prince beat Le Don De Vie by a long head. Adelaide Cup winner King Of Leogrance, who is already assured a Melbourne Cup start, was third.

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Originally published asSteel Prince’s Cup bid in hands of handicapper

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