Leave it to the big boys
REGARDED as a stallionmaking race, the Caulfield Guineas has a star-studded honour roll: Lonhro, Redoute’s Choice, Mahogany, Vain, Tulloch, Ajax ...
Five fillies have won the Guineas, the most notable being Surround, who went on to become the only three-yearold filly to win a Cox Plate.
A notable increase in prizemoney to $2 million has proved enough to tempt the Hayes stable to saddle up its star filly, Catchy.
Catchy has done little wrong to date.
She’s a Blue Diamond winner who didn’t handle a heavy track on the only time she missed a place, in the Golden Slipper.
Although beaten in the Thousand Guineas Prelude, she produced the best last 800m, 600m and 400m splits.
Summer Passage, who has been scratched, and Perast dominated the Caulfield Guineas Prelude — a key leadup race run at moderate early fractions.
That suited Perast, who was coming off a murderous tempo in the Golden Rose at Rosehill.
The presence of his hardgoing stablemate The Mission, along with Showtime and Sircconi, means this race will be run at a much stronger tempo.
Royal Symphony and Kementari head the market from the boys’ perspective.
Royal Symphony was as short as $2.80 for the Guineas after a slashing first-up win from a seemingly impossible spot at Flemington on September 16.
To the eye, he raced a little flat in the Guineas Prelude, but the sectional data reveal he still ran the best late splits.
He raced like a horse already wanting the 1600m.
The winkers go on today correct his desire to “lay in’’ down the straight.
Kementari isn’t quite the finished package. He skipped the Golden Rose to focus on this and, although a touch wayward, was very good in running third in the Prelude.
To be ridden by Damian Lane, Kementari will be out to emulate the deeds of his champion father, Lonhro, who won this race in 2001.
He maps well from gate 10 and should have Royal Symphony behind him in the run.
Gold Standard was serviceable in the Golden Rose and, judging by his Flemington jumpout eight days ago, he has settled in well here to be a leading contender for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Showtime maps very well off the inside draw, having run a good time in winning the Stutt Stakes. Just behind him, wearing a flashing red light as he charged to the line, was Salsamor.
This duo have place claims. Royal Symphony and Kementari are the horses to back.
Given the open nature of the race, there’s opportunity to back both and make a healthy profit.
The Thousand Guineas looks to be at the mercy of Sydney filly Alizee.
Trained by James Cummings, this hulking daughter of Sepoy has come into her own as the preparation has deepened.
She’s a lovely, long-striding filly who reeled off the slickest last 400m and 200m sectionals of the day in the 1400m Tea Rose at Randwick two starts ago before sustaining a brilliant final 1000m to win the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at the same track.
It’s hard to see how her seven rivals can hold her out.