Price and Kent chase 2023 Debutant Stakes win

Mick Price has won most of Victoria’s feature two-year-old races, but he will chase his maiden win in his old home track’s first juvenile race for the season this Wednesday at Caulfield.

The two-time Blue Diamond Stakes-winning horseman and his co-trainer Michael Kent Jnr have Written Tycoon colt First Settler among the 10 juveniles having their first start in the $175,000 Debutant Stakes.

Price and Kent finished second in the Debutant Stakes with Euphoric Summer and Extreme Warrior in 2019 and 2020 and the latter said First Settler had always shown precocity with a slick piece of work on Saturday morning confirming his place in Wednesday’s 1000m race.

“We never like to overtrain our two-year-olds, we’re very much of the mindset that they do it or they don’t and we don’t push them too hard,” Kent said.

“But he has done everything right, even to the point where on Saturday morning at the gallops he worked with an older horse and worked very well.”

A $750,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale buy for Price and Yulong, First Settler is the most expensive yearling in the Debutant Stakes.

He is out of the Street Cry mare Graciousness, a half-sister to Casino Prince who is also the dam of last Saturday’s $1 million Silver Eagle winner Vienna Princess.

His preparations for the debut have included two 650m jumpout wins at Cranbourne.

“He cost $750,000, so that probably gives you an indication of the type of colt he is; he’s a big, strong powerful horse,” Kent said.

“He’s very green and could do things wrong, but he’s got an amazing action.

“Mark Zahra, you’d have to think he’s riding a lot of nice two-year-olds around Victoria, but he’s happy to be with him.”

First Settler and Zahra will jump from the inside barrier in the Debutant Stakes, which also includes Matt Laurie’s $550,000 Pierata colt Coleman and the James Cummings-trained Renege, a son of Impending and Group 1 winner Virage De Fortune.

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