Nathaniel's Steel Prince Earns His Ticket to Melbourne Cup

Mark Smith - Sunday May 26

While some decried the quality of Saturday's Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington, there's no denying it was fought out by two horses that were worthy of the 'win and you're in' ticket for the Melbourne Cup.

A dead heat would have been a fitting result as the two favourites Steel Prince (IRE) and Surprise Baby hit the line together. Both would have earned the golden ticket however the judge found the narrowest of margins for the Anthony Freedman-trained import. (image Darryl Sherer)

The Adelaide Cup hero Surprise Baby (Shocking) was two and a quarter lengths ahead of the Tassie champ Eastender (Tickets), whose run was also full of merit.

After taking a few starts to find his feet in his adopted homeland, Steel Prince (IRE) has been a model of consistency. He has been in the top two at his last 11 starts and was chalking up his fifth consecutive win on Saturday.

It was a fantastic race, they are both very good stayers, Freedman told

"This horse just won't lie down. I knew when the other horse came to him he would dig in for the fight.

"He's had a great prep and has earned his chance (in the Melbourne Cup) and I would be quietly confident he would get a nice cheque.

"He's just incredibly tough and he's incredibly genuine, I don't think I've had a tougher or more genuine horse than him."

"He'll never win a race by much no matter where you ran him, but he doesn't like getting beaten. He's got a great record and he's earned his chance.

"We will give him a short-break and plot a course through the spring with three-week gaps between runs, that works well, so he will probably have a run in September or October.

Bred by Grangecon Stud, Steel Prince (IRE) was a 500,000gns purchase for Dermot Farrington / Sand Spring Resources out of the Watership Down Stud draft at the 2015 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale

He took four runs to break his maiden at Limerick for trainer P J Prendergast when purchased by clients of Darren Weir.

A son of Enable's sire Nathaniel, Steele Prince becomes the third stakes-winner for the Danehill's Gr III Saint-Cloud Prix Cléopâtre winner Steel Princess after the Gr 1 Woodbine Canadian International Stakes winner Sarah Lynx (Montjeu) and the Gr III Sandown Classic Trial Stakes winner Sugar Boy (Authorized).

Steel Prince becomes the 13th stakes-winner for Galileo's King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Nathaniel who stands at for a fee of £25,000 at Newsells Park.

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