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Trainer Matt Kropp heads to Eagle Farm with Festival Prince


Toowoomba trainer Matt Kropp is keen to see where Festival Prince measures up as he takes on the might of Waller and Lees at Eagle Farm.

Trainer Matt Kropp heads to Eagle Farm on Saturday where he will take on the likes of Chris Waller and Kris Lees with his progressive galloper Festival Prince.

The four-year-old has won five of seven and while yet to prove himself in Saturday grade, bookmakers rate him as the $3.70 favourite for the Class 6 Handicap (1400m).

Toowoomba conditioner Kropp is keen to see how Festival Prince lines up against a couple of genuine Saturday class competitors.

“It’s a pretty good race isn’t it, I thought he’s short enough at what he opened,” Kropp conceded.

“I think he’s more suited to the likes of Eagle Farm rather than Ipswich or the Gold Coast.”

The son of Fruehling resumed at the Gold Coast on its Jewel day but was never on the track after being posted wide from barrier nine.

“You’re unlikely to get a nice run from barrier nine there. The odds are pretty terrible I would think, you’re going to get caught wide a lot of the time so he didn’t have much of a chance.” Kropp said.

“We thought it was a nice race for him coming back, but the barrier just made it hard.

“Took a chance there but he’s drawn much better on Saturday.”

While drawn off the track at his last run, Festival Prince copped a change of fortune for Saturday’s test as he’s set to jump from barrier two.

Senior rider Robbie Fradd jumps in the saddle replacing 3kg claimer Alex Patis.

“My bloke isn’t a horse that hasn’t shown much early speed so hopefully he doesn’t lose a good spot from the nice barrier,” Kropp said.

“If he gets a nice run it would be good to get a line on where we are at with him against some genuine Saturday performers.

“We’ll just take it run by run and see how he goes this prep.”

Meanwhile, Kropp saddles up two other runners on the card with Aliraaj and Calm Seeker and rates the latter as a better chance.

Although not relevant to Saturday’s run, as a fun fact this time last year Aliraaj finished third behind subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Incentivise by two lengths in a Sunshine Coast Class 2.

“It’s probably a bit of a jump in class for him (Aliraaj), I prefer the chances of Calm Seeker more,” Kropp admitted.

“He’s not so well weighted under the conditions of the race but he’s got some talent.

“One took him on and he overraced and copped a gut buster there as one took him on but hopefully he can get some cover and get away with a softer run.

“If that happens he can be competitive.”

Calm Seeker is rated an $81 chance with bookies while Aliraaj is $41 in the opening race.

Originally published as Trainer Matt Kropp heads to Eagle Farm with Festival Prince



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