Promising three year-old Newton Prince will be given an early opportunity in black-type company after cruising to victory in the Westspeed Hcp (1500m) at Ascot last Saturday.
Trainer Dan Pearce will nominate him for the LR Aquanita Stakes (1800m) fifth time out this weekend.
Newton Prince (3g Universal Prince – Newton Bewley by Blackfriars) overhauled Shades Of Rio (Oratorio) with a performance that had Pearce singing his praises on Saturday. “I’ve got a huge opinion of this horse,” he said. “There’s a big future ahead of him.”
Newton Prince is a Scenic Lodge homebred for owners David and Jeremy Smith and owns a distinct classic pedigree. His sire Universal Prince (Scenic) won the 2001 AJC Derby and his damsire Blackfriars (Danehill) the 1999 VRC Derby.
He’s also three-quarter brother to G3 Belmont Sprint winner Universal Ruler (Scenic) who stands alongside Blackfriars at Scenic Lodge.
Pearce prepared him for two placings in two starts during an educational stint at Belmont during the winter months. He resumed for a first-up victory over 1200 metres at Bunbury on November 14 and then lengthened to 1500 metres like he was looking for more ground.
“We were going to give him an extended break for the WATC Derby in the autumn,” Pearce recalled. “But after talking to David and Jeremy, we decided to bring him back for a short summer prep.
“He’s improving every start,” Pearce explained. “He was doing everything wrong during the winter. I waited and waited until adding blinkers and they’ve really straightened him out.”
Win, lose or draw, Newton Prince will be spelled after the Aquanita Stakes in readiness for the $400,000 WATC Derby on April 12.
Scenic Lodge also has a strong hand in the G1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot this Saturday.
Blackfriars flag-bearer Playing God is gunning for a hat-trick of victories in Perth’s premier weight-for-age event and Sunspeed’s champion sire fields a strong second-string with God Has Spoken, Rohan and Black Tycoon engaged.