Price and Kent Jnr saddle up for Royal Ascot

Cranbourne-based trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Junior are set to have their first runner at Royal Ascot. 

They will join fellow Victorian Henry Dwyer with a runner at the meeting with Dwyer to saddle Asfoora in the King Charles III Stakes on Tuesday night (Australian time). 

A number of the owners in Bella Nipotina, runner-up in Saturday's Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm, are involved in the ownership of Kitty Rose who runs in the Listed Sandringham Handicap over a mile at Royal Ascot on Friday night. 

Kitty Rose was purchased at the end of her two-year-old season by Australian connections, remaining in the care of Irish trainer Natalia Lupini for her season debut at Leopardstown in April. 

A daughter of Invincible Army, Kitty Rose has since transferred into the care of Price and Kent Jnr to be prepared for Friday's contest. 

Kitty Rose has raced on four occasions, winning at her first two starts, including a Listed race at Leopardstwon last September, before running second twice in Group 3 company. 

Price said the filly came on the radar of their stable after being spotted by their 'ratings man'. 

"It has been a project from a fair way away," Price said. 

"We paid decent money for her, but not seven figures. She's had a run at Leopardstown (since her purchase) and was good on heavy ground. 

"I haven't seen her close up, but what I have seen of her on video, she's a very good type. She has a bit of masculinity about her, she's scopey and strong." 

Since Kent Jnr joined Price in a training partnership in 2019, the stable has branched out into buying imported gallopers, not just from Europe but also the US. 

Price said you cannot avoid the imported horse. 

"They have 200 years of breeding, and the horses are good," Price said. 

"If they are good and we bring them down here, they're very good class wise. 

"Getting them to adapt to Australian conditions is the trick, but every staying race you look at in any decent race, half of them have the European suffix on them. 

"If you can't beat them, join them, so we're starting to buy a lot more imports now and a lot of Australian owners like them. 

"They're popular when you go to sell them and the perception is they come here to race, in town, on a Saturday for good prize money. 

"They're good horses for people to own and follow." 

Price said a number of the owners in Kitty Rose were making the trip to Royal Ascot to watch the filly race. 

He said Kitty Rose may then run again in Ireland the following weekend before making her way out to Australia where the long-term plan is to run in the Golden Eagle at Rosehill in November. 

"It's exciting to have a runner there," Price said. 

"I think a lot of her owners are going over and I think Junior may stay over and see her have another run over there. 

"She's trained on and after that we'll bring her out and hopefully get her to the Golden Eagle."

The Royal Ascot meeting commences on Tuesday, picture Liesl King