Trained by Minnie Finn, the son of Barcia Bale and Winsome Shiraz stepped evenly from box eight before mustering pace and assuming the front around the first turn.
Once in the lead it was a case of times and margins as the black chaser sprinted to the line four-and-one-quarter lengths clear in a sizzling 25.07.
Finn made the trip up to the Hunter Valley circuit from Cranebrook, near Richmond, expecting a good performance from her exciting pup.
“We thought he would go alright because he was well boxed out in the eight”, Finn said.
“He has usually got good speed, that is why he is going so well. He didn’t come out all that good yesterday and he had to put the pedal to the metal to get to the front.”
Winsome Prince had trialled at the track on Monday in preparation for his Maitland debut, clocking a nearly identical time of 25.05.
Based on this, Finn said that she was originally a little disappointed with the time recorded on Thursday.
“I thought he would have went quicker and we were a bit disappointed with the time but he cracked an outside toenail, so that could have been the problem.”
Finn is optimistic that the cracked toenail will not cause a setback to her star sprinter and that he will be able to take his place in next week’s $1500 final.
However, she is not prepared to risk him if there is any uncertainty closer to race day.
“At this stage we are hoping (it will be ok), but we will just see how he goes through the week. If it is not right we will have to scratch him.”
Despite the allure of the $75,000 winner’s cheque, Finn decided to steer clear of headquarters and the big one to allow Winsome Prince some more time to mature.
“He is not experienced enough, he would have been giving a lot away (to the other dogs). If we had a bit more time to school him around there we might have gone in it but we didn’t have time to trial.”
“We have a good opinion of him, he is a fast dog and he has got speed but he is only young.”
“That’s why we took him to Maitland and haven’t taken him to Wenty yet, we just wanted to get a bit of age on him and let him find his feet and then we will head to town.”
If he is fit and well by next Thursday, Winsome Prince looks to be the leading contender heading into the final, although it will be a harder task than his heat. The other qualifier was taken out by Remember Ross in a quick 25.17.
Finn said she is not too concerned about the box draw for the final which should be released on Monday afternoon.
“It doesn’t really matter where he is drawn as long as the dogs either side of him don’t go left or right.”
“He had bad boxes at Dapto and could handle them so it is just a matter of getting left alone for those first few strides and then he has got the pace to take off.”
Finn is contemplating taking Winsome Prince to the city after next Thursday to see if he can handle the step up in grade. With his combination of speed, strength and field sense, all signs at this early stage indicate that he should turn into a top class chaser down the track.
“We will probably take him to Wenty and give him a couple of trials before we put him in around there.”
“We are excited about him- and that’s why we are taking him along slowly, he is only young.”
“At this stage he is going good. He still has to take the big boys on down the track but he is ticking all the boxes so far”.