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Winner of the $125,000 Group 3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday, the Peter Moody-trained Golden Archer looked on target to vie for an elite level victory to add to their growing record this spring, the 2011 Caulfield Guineas shaping up as a real possibility.
Rock Of Gibraltar colt Golden Archer heads into the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival as one of the best tried and best performing three-year-olds out of a very exciting crop.
“You would love a stable of horses like him,” Moody said, praising Golden Archer.
To date they have started nine times for six wins and two minor placings, three of their four stakes victories being as a juvenile last season.
After running a game first-up second behind the three-year-old of the year, Peter Snowden’s Golden Slipper champion Sepoy in the Listed Vain Stakes (1100m) on August 13, Golden Archer enjoyed a second-up victory at Caulfield last Saturday.
Ridden by Moody’s ace hoop Luke Nolen, Golden Archer ($3.90) never looked threatened as they lead all the way before racing away for a one and three quarter length win in the McNeil Stakes over the David Hayes-trained Cross Of Gold ($26) with another double-figure roughie, Vatican ($41), crossing for an eye-catching third place finish.
While Moody’s well-backed favourite Metonymy ($3.70) ran a disappointing sixth on Saturday, the premier Victorian trainer was very impressed with the performance of Golden Archer who he is tipping as a genuine Group 1 chance this season.
“What he did today (on Saturday) was what we hoped would pan out the other day but Sepoy brought us undone,” Moody said in regards to the Vain Stakes.
‘We thought he should have run a closer second to Sepoy, and that form is superior to this (the McNeil) and he showed that today.”
Despite the commanding win by Golden Archer in the McNeil, Luxbet have him rated just a $51 chance in their futures markets for the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8.
To better assess Golden Archer’s Caulfield Guineas claims, Moody said he would either step them up to the 1400 metres of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on September 24 or the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude, also run over the 1400 metres at the same meeting.
Moody also revealed the $500,000 Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 30 was also being considered for Golden Archer.
“If he doesn’t go to the Guineas we can always come back in trip and butt heads with Sepoy in the Manikato,” Moody said.
“He (Sepoy) can’t run in every race so we will try and doge him a few times and win our share.”
Meanwhile, after running a brave second in the McNeil Stakes, Redoute’s Choice Cross Of Gold has had their Caulfield Guineas price slashed to $31 at Luxbet.
“He has shown great acceleration twice now and we have got high hopes heading towards the Guineas,” Hayes said of the $925,000 yearling Cross Of Gold.
Third placegetter Vatican remains a $101 roughie.
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