Price confident regarding Immortal Love
It will be the battle of the undefeated three-year-olds when Immortal Love and Cherry Tortoni clash in the Exford Plate and one trainer is brimming with confidence while the other is slightly cautious.
Both horses have won three from three and can claim Flemington victories over 1400 metres, which is the distance they will run over on Saturday.
Cherry Tortoni also boasts a 1600 metre win at the course.
Mick Price believes the race sets up nicely for his charge Immortal Love, who won the McNeil Stakes over 1200 metres at Caulfield at his last start when he flew home to win.
“From that barrier (six) he should get a great spot,” Price said.
“He led at his debut. He doesn’t have to do that but he’ll be on the speed in a race where there doesn’t look to be a lot of speed.
“He also won’t mind if the predicted rain came.”
Price is heading to the Caulfield Guineas with Immortal Love and wants to see confirmation that he’s on track for that race.
Price also has two other horses in the Listed race, Iron Edge and National Choice, and says both have bright futures and can also develop into Caulfield Guineas contenders.
“I’d like to see them go forward as they are capable of that but as they’ve drawn out they will have to be ridden cold,” Price said.
Cherry Tortoni’s trainer Patrick Payne said he would know a lot more about where his horse sits after Saturday.
“He’s got to take his winter form to stakes form. He’s a nice horse but this is a step up in grade,” Payne said.
“From a fitness point of view he hasn’t had a lot of time off and is up to the mark.
“I’ve got my eye on the Victoria Derby but I’m very open-minded how to get there.
“At this stage I’d look at stepping around the Caulfield Guineas but if his form warrants going in that direction then we will, but there will be a lot better horses in that race.”