Two starts back, What A Prince ran second in the Batavia Sprint (1200m), Geraldton’s main sprint.

Two starts later, What A Prince wins the Geraldton Cup (2100m), Geraldton’s premier race.

Sunday’s popular home-town victory was the brainchild of trainer, Barry Newnham and executed to the minute by jockey, Chris Nicoll.

Newnham’s decision to back his instinct and have What A Prince step up and target a cup distance race paid off in spades.

The son of All Too Hard was the first to jump out and the first one home after the remaining pack couldn’t chase him down in front.

What A Prince had 3/4 of a length under his sleeve from runner-up Beats Of War with Gold Friars holding third placing.

What A Prince claimed his first victory beyond 1600m at his second attempt at the trip after a narrow second last-start over 2125m.

Sent out a $6.50 chance, Newnham never wavered in his belief that What A Prince had the stamina to win the Tabtouch Geraldton Gold Cup.

“I think he’s just a good horse,” Newnham said.

“I don’t think anyone has seen the best of him.

“I don’t think anybody has tried this and I said two months ago he was a stayer.

“I was told by a lot of people I couldn’t win the race so there you go.”

Victorian-born Nicoll delivered a bold front-running ride on What A Prince, confident the six-year-old was up for the staying test after his previous encounter.

Renowned as a hard working jockey who spends a lot of his time riding in the provincial and country circuits, Nicoll said the Geraldton Cup was one of two races he wanted to win.

“I thought he was tough enough and he was,” Nicoll said.

“Once I got to the top of the straight I sort of knew I had beaten off the ones around me.

“He stuck to it and kept going for me.

“I think he’s a good horse and it’s a bit of an unknown what his best trip is at the minute.

“I think he’s a stayer, it’s just a matter of getting him to relax.

“I was spewing last week because I was scratched out of the Albany Cup with Beats Of War.

“They are two races I want to win here, this cup and the Albany Cup because I do come up and race here nearly every meeting.

“To knock off one of them I’m pretty happy.”

Newnham heaped praise on Nicoll’s ride, a second cup success for the pair within the past 12-months.

“He does a great job and is very underrated,” Newnham said.

“This is a big step from the cup he won for me last year, the Mount Magnet Cup.

“He’s very underrated.”

Newnham said he would like to see What A Prince race in Perth and contest the Diggers Cup (1800m) on April 25.

Julio Santarelli