Can Unique Prince claim his throne in Tom Patton Cup?

Billy Owen and the Peter Morgan-trained Unique Prince will team up in Sunday’s Tom Patton Cup at Wagga.
Image: Bradley Photos.

The Peter Morgan-trained Unique Prince will be searching for his third win on the trot and the biggest victory of his career in Sunday’s $32,000 Tom Patton Cup. 

Consistent as the day is long, the six-year-old has started 25 times for six wins and 11 placings, earning connections over $130,000.

Formerly trained by Matthew Dale, since arriving in Morgan’s yard, the Shaft gelding hasn’t missed a place, racing seven times for two wins and five minor placings. 

With Billy Owen in the saddle, Unique Prince has stepped out over more ground in recent starts, and it’s turned into a winning combination, with the trio emerging victorious at their past two at Wagga.

After taking out the 1800m Benchmark 66 Handicap on January 16, they triumphed in the 2000m Australia Day Cup Benchmark 74 Handicap on January 26. 

“I think the extra distance helps, but Mathew Cahill was riding him, and he said to me, ‘He doesn’t go for me; I’m too quiet, put a strong rider on him’, and that’s what I did,” Morgan told NSW Country and Picnic Racing

“Billy is a good rider, and with the increase in distance, he’s been racing well.”

The Tom Patton Cup will be his toughest staying test to date, with Unique Prince taking on the likes of Oceans of Stanima, Lumber Dream, Indian Soldier, and The Ballet Dancer.

“It’s a harder race this week, but he’ll run a good race; I’m going there hopeful,” Morgan said. 

The Wagga galloper will lug 62.5kg on Sunday, but he’s been carrying weight in recent runs, winning with 62kg and 60kg on his back.

“He won with 62kg two starts back, and from the draw, he will jump and put himself there, and if one wants to take the lead, he will take a sit behind them.

“He’s pulled up well after his runs, and the only reason he hasn’t been racing as often is that his rating has got up there, and they don’t run enough races with that rating.

“If he was to win, we’ll probably have to go to a mid-week or somewhere like that next start.”

With the Corowa Cup (1600m) on March 9 ahead of the Gundagai Cup (1800m) on April 7, Morgan said he would consider all options. 

“We’d like to think he will get that far,” Morgan said. 

“If he can keep going, we’ll keep all those races in mind.” 

Wagga is set to host an eight-race program on Sunday, with the Tom Patton Cup headlining the card, while the $50,000 Super Maiden Handicap (1400m) has attracted a good field.