Caspian Prince highlights Yarmouth treble for Tom Marquand
Caspian Prince continued to defy his advancing years when forming the highlight of a treble for Tom Marquand at Yarmouth with a front-running success in the Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com Handicap.
Although now in the twilight of his career, the Mick Appleby-trained Dylan Thomas gelding showed he still retains plenty of ability at the age of 11 after setting a new five-furlong course record of 58.57 seconds on his way to the 21st victory of his career.
Making the most of his sharp exit from the stalls, the 11-2 shot found more than enough to repel the late challenge of dual course and distance winner Texting by a neck.
Marquand, who rode Caspian Prince as a teenager while working with his former trainer Tony Carroll, said: “What a legend. It was a fair effort making his own running.
“I was lucky to sit on a horse like that aged 13 and I’m still lucky to be sat on him aged 22. He is a soldier.
“There were a few times there I thought we were beat, but he kept finding a little bit more.
“He has been a cracking horse over the years. He is still winning races at 11 years of age and it is testament to everyone that has kept him in one piece.”
A return trip to Dubai in the winter could be on the cards for Caspian Prince according to the winning trainer, provided he remains in good heart.
Appleby, speaking away from the track, said: “This is the third year we’ve had him and he has been a good old boy. He still shows plenty of enthusiasm at home.
“If the ground stays quick, then we will keep on running him over here. It’s a possibility that he could go back to Dubai as he does go well out there.”
William Haggas has saddled plenty of talented individuals to their first victory at the Norfolk track, and Ready To Venture (4-6) could be another after getting the ball rolling for Marquand with a length-and-a-half success in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.
The Newmarket handler said: “You never know the quality of these races, but she could do no more than win. I think she is a top of the ground filly and hopefully she is useful.”
Ready To Venture holds entries in the Group Two Shadwell Rockfel Stakes and Group One bet365 Fillies’ Mile, both at Newmarket, however Haggas will let the dust settle before making future plans.
He added: “We have got her in a few smart races, but we will work out what to do nearer the time. Her mother, Wonderstruck, was a very good stayer that stayed a mile and a half well.”
Nicklaus took full advantage of a drop in the weights to complete Marquand’s hat-trick, and bring up a double for Haggas, by gaining his first victory since scoring at the track two years ago when battling back to defeat King Ragnar by a head in the attheraces.com Handicap.
Haggas said of the 7-1 winner: “He obviously loves the sea air. I thought he did very well as he got headed then picked up well.
“The handicapper let him down 3lb after his last run and he needed every pound of that as he had not won for two years.
“I’m very pleased for (owner) Highclere Thoroughbred Racing as I didn’t think I was going to get a winner for them this year. It is great as four of them have come up to see him as well.”