Lightly raced seven-year-old Classical Prince has faced his fair share of battles in his career thus far, and his trainer Neville Parker is keen to find out if he is up for another one when he lines up in the Amelia Park Handicap (1400m) on Saturday.
Classical Prince has had two long stints away from the race track through injury, the latest being an 11 month setback which started in June 2016.
Parker said he has had to manage Classical Prince carefully this campaign as he looks to get on top of any lingering effects from previous injuries.
“We scratched him from a 1500m race last week which would have been two weeks between runs,” he said.
“He was a little tender in his feet.
“He still has a few niggles and he’s done a tendon before, so we always play it safer with him.”
Previously with Simon Miller, Classical Prince found his new home with Parker before the start of his winter campaign last year and he said Miller had been supportive in the transition.
“He had a year of rehab with us and also with Simon,” he said.
“We rehabbed him with Simon after the injury, and he was good enough to let us race him ourselves.
“Simon always gives you good feedback.”
Parker said his Capel surroundings allowed him to put enough work into Classical Prince without the risk of the injury flaring up again.
“We’ve got him on a pretty tight schedule,” he said.
“He does a lot of beach work where we can take a lot of workload away from the tendon, and it is beneficial for him.
“We work him on the shoreline here at Forrest Beach where we have 10-15km of pristine beach.”
The gelding has performed consistently since his most recent injury, recording a win at Belmont last July, while he has recorded three top five finishes this campaign, including a last start second to Red Publisher in the Mandurah Cup at Pinjarra.
Parker said he felt there was improvement left in Classical Prince ahead of Saturday, where Chris Parnham will take the ride for the first time.
“He was really on song for that run, and he’s heading in that direction this week,” he said.
“He always gives you 110% that is what you can be sure of.
“The way he’s been jumping in previous runs he has been flying the gates and putting himself in good positions, but we haven’t been able to utilise it with bad barrier draws.”
Parker said the Bunbury Stakes in March would be Classical Prince’s target this campaign.
Classical Prince opened as a $4.20 chance on TABtouch, while the Neville Parnham-trained Wrinkly heads up the market at $3.30.