Apollo Prince out to build on the boom

4 min read

by Anthony Manton

The Kris Lees-trained Apollo Prince (NZ) (Shamexpress {NZ}) will be out to build on what already is a big boom when he lines-up at Wyong on Thursday in race six, the Class 2 1350m.

Apollo Prince created a huge impression on debut at Newcastle on April 13 with a runaway victory that looked like nothing more than a track gallop.

"The manner in which he beat them suggests he can go on from that and he should be hard to beat again." - Kris Lees Racing Manager, Lucas Miller

The bar will be raised a little higher on Thursday when Apollo Prince jumps straight from a maiden to class 2, however, the stable is confident he can take the next step.

“He didn’t beat much at Newcastle but the manner in which he beat them suggests he can go on from that and he should be hard to beat again,” said Lucas Miller Racing Manager for Kris Lees.

While there are no short term goals, Apollo Prince is held in very high regard by his owners, the Wanless family, who have raced many top-class gallopers throughout recent years.

“He’s a lovely big horse who hardly hits the ground when he gallops and we just want to take our time with him and not put too much pressure on him early,” said Miller.

Trainer Kris Lees

Apollo Prince was given a quiet trial at Gosford on March 26 prior to his debut. He wasn’t let off the bit in that trial and the signs of abundant talent didn’t go unnoticed as he started a very short price favourite at Newcastle.

An imposing horse, the decision was made to geld the horse in order to get the best out of him.

"He was just too big so the decision to geld him was the right one." - Lucas Miller

“He’s such a huge horse they weren’t going to get the best out of him as a colt, he was just too big so the decision to geld him was the right one."

“Ron & Judy [Wanless] just want to race good horses and will always do what’s in the best interest of the horse to see them fulfil their potential,” said Miller.

Bred in New Zealand, Apollo Prince was a $330,000 yearling purchase at the 2017 NZB Premier Yearling Sale. He first trialled there in October and November 2018 before being exported to Australia.

Apollo Prince as a yearling

He descends from a rich black-type family, out of stakes-winning mare Polish Princess (GB) (Polish Precedent {USA}), winner of four races in New Zealand and was Group 1-placed in the Champions Mile at Ellerslie.

Polish Princess is a half-sister to Suez (GB) (Green Desert {USA}), a Godolphin stakes-winning mare that won two of her three career starts in the UK and finished 2nd in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes.

Suez is the dam of Lyric Of Light (GB) (Street Cry {Ire}), one of the best 2-year-old fillies of her generation winning the Group 1 Shadwell Fillies’ Mile 8f at Newmarket and remaining unbeaten in her juvenile season in 2011.

As a broodmare, Polish Princess has had a remarkable start to her career. Her first foal to race was Polish Knight (NZ) (Encosta de Lago) who won the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes and 2nd in the Group 1 Australian Derby in 2012. Her second foal Leebaz (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) was a four-time stakes winner and 2nd in the G1 Doomben Cup in 2014. Her third foal to race was Euro Angel (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}) a Group 3 winner.

Polish Knight winning the G2 Tulloch S.

Apollo Prince is the fourth foal to race from Polish Princess and is from the first crop of yearlings by Shamexpress.

Shamexpress won the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap 1200m at Flemington in 2013 and was just over a length off winning the three biggest sprint races in Australia finishing 2nd in both the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic and the Lightning Stakes in 2013/14.

He commenced stud duties in 2014 at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand. He has produced four stakes winners so far, London Express (NZ), Qiji Express (NZ), Cyber Attack (NZ) and the latest Embrace Me (NZ) who won the Group 3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes 1200m at Moonee Valley in February.