Evergreen Caspian Prince shines again at Newcastle
Last Updated: 02/01/18 6:41pm
Caspian Prince enjoyed another big-race triumph when leading all the way in the Betway Conditions Stakes at Newcastle.
Tony Coyle's speedster landed the Epsom Dash and lowered the colours of Group One-winner Marsha at the Curragh in the summer and has now earned a place on All-Weather Championships day at Lingfield on Good Friday after taking this fast-track qualifier at odds of 12-1.
The burden of a 7lb penalty for that Group Two success in Ireland could not slow down the five-furlong specialist, who pulled out more for Ben Curtis to hold Atletico by a head. Final Venture was a close-up third after fluffing the start.
Curtis said: "It's good when a plan comes together and he's improved a lot for his last run. I thought he would, back down to five furlongs, and he is as game as a pebble.
"He loves running. One five furlongs he can run that bit quicker and enjoys it even more. I left him to it, got a breather in and when the other horse came it only helped me. He's a legend to ride."
Coyle's assistant, Carol Easton, told At The Races: "He's a superstar, I can't believe he was that price. He's a bit quirky, but he's special.
"I don't think he'll be going to Meydan. He went to Doha last year and he might go straight there again, then we'll see."
Caspian Prince was given a quote of 14-1 for the Betway Sprint Final with the sponsors.
Dubawi Fifty outstayed Paddyplex in the closing stages to take first prize in the Betway Casino Handicap.
Karen McLintock's five-year-old had finished fourth in the Cesarewitch on his previous start and appreciated the stiff finish over this extended mile and a quarter to wear down his willing rival.
Paddyplex hit the front in the final furlong but Paul Mulrennan kept at Dubawi Fifty up to his work and the 5-2 favourite grabbed the verdict by a head.
"That's a nice start to the new year," said McLintock. "I think we'll be targeting the bigger handicaps on the Flat.
"I would love to have him back here for the Plate and he will go for the Cesarewitch again. Ascot would be another target for him.
"I think Chester could be a bit sharp, but I wouldn't mind trying it."
Von Blucher asserted in the final furlong to land the seven-furlong sunbets.co.uk Handicap.
PJ McDonald was happy to track the pace-setting Swift Approval and then asked his mount for his effort, which saw the Rebecca Menzies-trained five-year-old gallop on strongly to score by a neck, despite drifting over towards the far rail.
"I'm delighted. We've been hitting the crossbar with him," said Menzies of her 11-2 scorer.
"He's drifted across the track a couple of times in the past. I was slightly worried, but he's done it.
"There's a race back here for him over six furlongs in March and I'd like him to have a break as he's horse who I think can do well over the summer. "