Herlihy rates Prince Of Pleasure

Herlihy rates Prince Of Pleasure

Republished from Harness New Racing New Zealand - hrnz.co.nz

Michael Guerin

You know when driving legend Tony Herlihy launches one from last like he did at Alexandra Park on Wednesday night it must have a motor.

So remember the name Prince Of Pleasure because that motor is going to take him far.

The three-year-old scored a quite stunning win in a strong maiden race to open the card, breaking 55 seconds for his last 800m, part of it three wide.

The 2200m maiden even had looked relatively standard until he got involved, with Marathon Man leading and giving favourite punters every reason to feel confident.

But when Herlihy gave Prince Of Pleasure his head from last at the 800m his response was instantaneous.

He roared straight past his rivals and then held Marathon Man at bay up the straight even though the latter had last-start race fitness on his side.

The normally conservative Herlihy was all smiles after the race, knowing this won’t be the last time Prince Of Pleasure comes back to the winner’s circle at Alexandra Park.

“He is pretty smart,” said Herlihy, which verges on decent praise from the master.

“I liked him last year and he finished fifth in a good Sires’ Stakes heat at Cambridge against Copy That and Line Up.

“But he has strengthened up this time in, which you saw in the last 100m tonight.”

With all the feature three-year-old races gone, Prince Of Pleasure will be allowed to work his way through the grades but he looks a five-win horse without even having to improve.

“He has some breeding on his side and his owners have been patient with him and they are getting the rewards now.”

Prince Of Pleasure wasn’t the only reason Herlihy had to smile on Wednesday night as open class trotting mare Kenny’s Dream produced a classy return in the main trot.

She looked the winner when she loomed up to Tricky Ric at the top of the straight but having not raced since March found her out and she went down fighting, impressive stuff considering she gave the race fit winner a 30m start.

“That was good effort, especially as Tricky Ric is a nice trotter off that mark.”

Tricky Ric’s win was no shock as he got into the race off the same handicap as last start with trainers John and Josh Dickie having used a claiming driver in Craig Smith for his last start win.

As befits a horse who went within a nose of winning the Jewels last season, he looks headed for open class.