The training partnership of Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr maintained their perfect record in early season three-year-old sprints at their home venue when Immortal Love remained unbeaten in Saturday’s thrilling $160,000 Group 3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
Immortal Love ($9.50) swooped from his rearward position under Craig Newitt to win his third start to deny Flying Award ($10) and Tagaloa ($3.40 favourite) in a three-way finish, with the placegetters split by a short half-head and a nose.
Extra Time ($31), Ranting ($17) and Crosshaven ($8.50) were next across the line, all finishing within a length of Immortal Love.
Immortal Love’s win followed this month’s victory of stablemate Our Playboy ($6.50) in the G3 Vain Stakes (1100m). Always well back from his wide gate, Our Playboy could not repeat his heroics in the McNeil, finishing 14th in the 15-horse field.
“It certainly wasn’t the plan to be so far back, but it’ll be interesting to see what Craig says,” Price said.
“I knew that I was going to have two colts at the back because of their gates (Our Playboy and National Choice) but I would have thought that he (Immortal Love) must have been slow out, I was trying to watch three at once!
“Anyway, he did a great job. You can add about three lengths to his form if it does rain.”
When Immortal Love won at Flemington on May 23, it provided Price and Newitt with their first Melbourne winner together since Extreme Choice triumphed in the G1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley in September 2016.
And Immortal Love is being prepared for G1 success with the $140,000 Listed Exford Plate (1400m) at Flemington on September 12, $250,000 G3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 26 and $2 million G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10 identified as his upcoming assignments.
Immortal Love is a homebred for Peter Creighton, who raced the dam Loveyamadly, a winner of her first two starts for Price before winning at Listed level and then later commencing life as a broodmare.