Caulfield Guineas Day is renowned as being the first race day of Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival. It’s a day that is highlighted being only one of two days in the Victorian Racing calendar, to feature four Group-1 races on the one program. Of those four Group-1’s, we have a runner in three of the races, as well as having some other very exciting runners throughout the day.
Two very exciting and progressive five-year-old’s kick off our weekend at Caulfield, with Gallic Chieftain and Lord Fandango lining up in the Group-2, 2400m Herbert Power Stakes at 2:05 pm. After Gallic Chieftain’s strong finish in the JRA Cup, we believe he is a very good chance. He will carry 53kg’s from barrier 7 and Dean Yendall will ride. After winning the Benalla Cup last start, Lord Fandango will be hoping to make it back to back wins for his connections. While he may find this race a bit too strong, we really do want to get a gauge of where he is at. He has drawn barrier 2, with Ben Allen on board carrying 53kg.
Our newest import, Fastnet Tempest, takes his place in the Listed, 1400m Weekend Hussler Stakes at Caulfield at 2:40 pm. After an ultra-impressive victory at Chester nearly 4 months ago, he has had absolutely no luck in his starts since, which included him lining up in a race over the Royal Ascot Carnival as favourite. Since arriving in Australia, he has settled in very well and has worked nicely under the care of Michael Kent. Dean Yendall went out to Werribee earlier in the week to get a feel of him and has been booked to ride at 54kg’s. We are expecting him to take great benefit from this run as he pushes towards the Cantala Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.
Following the Weekend Hussler Stakes, the first of the four Group-1’s commences with the 1600m Thousand Guineas at 3:15 pm. In what is a small field of eight, Aloisia looks to be a huge chance after a very strong finish in her last start over 1400m’s at Caulfield two-weeks-ago. Her last and only start at 1600m was the Group-1, J.J. Atkins at Doomban 5 months ago, in which she flew home after a checked run to finish second. She is still nominated for the Cox Plate, so a strong finish here could mean she will head there, and then ultimately to the VRC Oaks, where we believe she will relish the step up in distance. Luke Nolen has been booked to ride her and she has drawn the inside gate.
Gailo Chop is the next of our Group-1 runners and will line up in the 2000m Caulfield Stakes at 3:50 pm. His last three runs have been huge, considering he is still yet to reach his peak powers. In what is a relatively similar field to his last start, we are expecting him to be right there in the finish as he steps out to his preferred distance and has the race fitness under his belt. Mark Zahra will ride from barrier 5 and carry 59kg’s.
Tom Melbourne concludes our runners for the day in the 1600m, Group-1 Toorak Handicap. After a preparation that has resulted in four straight second placed finishes, we are hoping he can do one better and return to the winners list. In his last start, he was only able to get out of traffic at the 200m mark and flew home to finish close behind a very highly talented horse in Happy Clapper. Tom finished over 2 lengths clear of the next horse, and if he is able to replicate that performance here, will definitely be the one to beat. Glen Boss has once again come down to ride him and will carry 55kg’s from barrier 15.
Good luck to all connections!