Derby aspirations for Amalfi Prince

Amalfi Prince (Sebring) has put himself into Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) contention after he broke through for his maiden win at Hastings on Thursday.

It was the fourth start for the Sebring gelding, having finished runner-up in his first two outings before running fifth over 1400m at Tauranga earlier this month.

Trainer Jamie Richards was pleased to see his charge get his maiden win when scoring in the Wairoa RC @ Hastings 20 Feb Maiden (1600m).

“It was a nice ride from Joe (Kamaruddin),” Richards said. “I was mindful of the awkward barrier (10) and told Joe to get him up on his toes before he jumps – give him a good strong warm-up and keep him moving.

“He did a really good job of getting him out of the barrier and with what happened in the race, he didn’t have it easy and it wasn’t a sit-and-steer, but Joe summed everything up very well.

“His two-kilo claim is invaluable, the way he’s riding, and I was really pleased with the way he got the job done.”

Richards said Amalfi Prince will now head to the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m), which will give the Matamata trainer an indication of whether his charge is up to the Derby trip.

“We will possibly give him a chance of getting to the Derby,” Richards said.

“We’ve played around with him and he is lightly raced, but we might throw him in the deep end for the Avondale Guineas and that will let us know whether he’s a Derby horse, or whether it could come up too soon.

“If not, as a back-up, he could be a suitable type for the three-year-old staying race (Gr.3 Manawatu Classic, 2000m) at Awapuni.”

Amalfi Prince was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis out of Ohukia Lodge’s 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale draft for $90,000.

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