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Peter Snowden’s two-time Group 1 winner Helmet will take their next step towards the 2011 Caulfield Guineas when they race in the Prelude at Caulfield this Saturday, the three-year-old looking to return to elite level form after missing out on the Golden Rose win last start.
One of the key races for Luxbet punters and fans on Caulfield’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day programme this Saturday, the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) drew 16 horses at nomination stage yesterday.
While Golden Rose winner Manawanui is engaged to take on a lower-class field in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday, Golden Rose runner-up Smart Missile and third placegetter Helmet have both been entered for the Guineas Prelude.
The top Golden Rose trio are all heading towards the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8 and are dominating the futures betting on the Melbourne Spring Carnival classic at Luxbet.
Anthony Cummings’ exciting Fastnet Rock colt Smart Missile is the clear $4.20 Caulfield Guineas favourite after their unlucky defeat in the Rose.
Connections also have Smart Missile nominated for the feature Caulfield race this Saturday, the $350,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) where they would have to face a field of older horses.
A decision is pending on which option to take with Smart Missile for their Melbourne race debut, a Group 1 start in the Sir Rupert Clarke the most likely choice.
“We will nominate for both races, but the Group 1 is very appealing for him,” Cummings said.
Snowden, however, only has eyes for the Caulfield Guineas Prelude prize with Helmet.
“It was always the Prelude then Guineas for him,” Snowden said in regards to Helmet’s spring plan.
Winner of the AJC Sires Produce Stakes – Champagne Stakes double as a juvenile last season, Exceed And Excel colt Helmet has had two runs as a three-year-old for two third place finishes.
Saturday will be their first start in Melbourne, but Snowden and connections remain confident that Helmet is nearing peak condition.
“I think Helmet showed he will be well served as the races get longer,” Darley’s head trainer said.
Another danger in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude nominees is the Peter Moody-trained Golden Archer, a four-time black-type winner.
The ultra consistent son of Rock Of Gibraltar has had nine starts to date for six wins including their impressive last-start win in the Group 3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 27, before which they ran second to Snowden’s star colt Sepoy in the Vain Stakes also at Caulfield.
Moody has also nominated his last-start Cranbourne winning More Than Ready colt Huegill for the Caulfield Guineas Prelude on Saturday.
Other notable Caulfield Guineas Prelude entries this year include the Rick Hore-Lacy-trained Chase The Rainbow, David Hayes’ McNeil Stakes runner-up Cross Of Gold, Anthony Freedman’s recent Flemington winner Specter and undefeated Cranbourne galloper That’s The One.
Acceptances for the 2011 The Age Caulfield Guineas Prelude will be taken by Racing Victoria on Wednesday with the final field and barriers to be published right here at Races.com.au.
Now is the time to place your early Caulfield Guineas bets at the best prices before markets shorten over the next week.
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2011 Caulfield Guineas Prelude Nominations & Weights
|2||RUNNING TALL||Danny O’Brien||3||57.5kg||88|
|3||SMART MISSILE||Anthony Cummings||2||57.5kg||104|
|4||GOLDEN ARCHER||Peter G Moody||4||57kg||100|
|7||ISOPACH||John P Thompson||7||56kg||72|
|8||CHASE THE RAINBOW||Rick Hore-Lacy||11||55kg||74|
|9||CROSS OF GOLD||David Hayes||14||55kg||72|
|10||GRAND BRITANNIA||Robbie Laing||8||55kg||75|
|11||HUEGILL||Peter G Moody||15||55kg||66|
|14||SECRET HILLS||Mick Price||9||55kg||72|
|15||THAT’S THE ONE||Colin & Cindy Alderson||12||55kg||75|
|16||THE NEW BOY||Danny O’Brien||10||55kg||72|
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