The Danny O’Brien-trained roughie Running Tall has secured the inside running from barrier one when they take on a crack field in Saturday’s Caulfield Guineas Prelude 2011 at Caulfield, the colt to face off against the likes of dual Group 1 winner Helmet and the Peter Moody-trained Golden Archer.
One of the key support races on the 2011 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day programme, the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) drew a final field of 12 acceptors.
The big winner in the 2011 Caulfield Guineas Prelude barrier draw was Stratum colt Running Tall.
Running Tall hasn’t been placed better than sixth since their victory in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington back in March, after which they failed to come within seven lengths of superstar Sepoy when 11th in the Golden Slipper and then beaten over 17 lengths when thrashed by winner Helmet in the Champagne Stakes in their juvenile swansong.
They have had two runs as a three-year-old this season, Running Tall finishing three and a half lengths away sixth in both including their last-start effort in the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed (1400m) at Flemington on September 3, and this $51 Caulfield Guineas 2011 betting long-shot has lots of improvement to make if they are to be competitive on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the headline contender in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude this year is Peter Snowden’s AJC Sires Produce Stakes – Champagne Stakes winning son of Exceed And Excel, Helmet.
Helmet has drawn barrier six of 12 for their Melbourne race debut where they will be looking to win their first race of the season having run third to Smart Missile first-up in the Run To The Rose before their last-start third behind upset winner Manawanui in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) on September 10.
Saturday’s showdown is the traditional prep run for three-year-olds out to claim the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), which runs this year on October 8.
Caulfield Guineas favourite is Smart Missile ($3.20 Luxbet) who takes on the older horses in Saturday’s $350,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).
Helmet is a $6 chance in the 2011 Caulfield Guineas odds at Luxbet.
Other Prelude contenders this Saturday well-liked in the early Guineas betting include:
- Chase The Rainbow ($10): Rick Hore-Lacy’s Dash For Cash colt burst into Caulfield Guineas (and Prelude) contention with an eye-catching second beaten in the final stride by Specter in the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed (1400m) on September 3, bred to last longer and will have improved from their first look at that distance.
- Cross Of Gold ($16): Has suffered an early blow drawing wide with barrier 10, but this David Hayes-trained son of Redoute’s Choice showed promise when running second behind Golden Archer in the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 27, comes into the race fresh and if they have come on since their last-start they are a genuine threat.
- That’s The One ($18): Cranbourne galloper from the stables of Colin & Cindy Alderson, is undefeated from two starts to date including their latest effort over 1410m at Flemington at the start of August.
Connections are realistic that Snippetson gelding That’s The One really is still very green, but that doesn’t mean that Colin Alderson has ruled them out of surprising him with a big show on Saturday.
“He’s a touchy horse who has come a long way in the past two months but he still has a way to go mentally,” Alderson said.
There are plenty of other notable Caulfield Guineas Prelude contenders with genuine claims to upset likely odds-on favourite Helmet including:
- Golden Archer (Peter Moody): Drawn in four with Luke Nolen engaged, definite one to watch here as they come off an honest McNeil Stakes win carrying 57.5kg, before which they were beaten two and a half lengths when second first-up behind Sepoy in the Vain Stakes. Juicy Caulfield Guineas price of $41 won’t last if they win on Saturday.
- Specter (Anthony Cummings): Last-start Flemington winner over 1400 metres, looked impressive chasing down the leader and running away with the win from Prelude rival Chase The Rainbow. Distance suits, record is there and drawn well in five one inside race favourite Helmet. Lot’s to like.
- Absalon (Jason McLachlan): Another real eye-catcher in Absalon, almost ruled out with this barrier (11) for the win but won their first two career runs in Queensland including a Listed at Doomben during the Winter and was far from disgraced when sixth behind Sepoy (beaten 3.5 lengths) in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 3.
McLachlan believes Absalon has come on well since the Danehill and although they are out wide, can still place in the Prelude if luck goes there way.
“He’s done everything right since then,” McLachlan said.
“He’s definitely improved and going to the 1400 metres is perfect at this stage.
“The Prelude is a very good field but I think this colt will run well if he gets some luck.”
See below for the full 2011 The Age Caulfield Guineas Prelude field, barriers and jockeys.
2011 Caulfield Guineas Final Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rtg.|
|1||3X1111X33||HELMET||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6||58.5kg||104|
|2||3X27109X66||RUNNING TALL||Danny O’Brien||Mark Zahra||1||57.5kg||88|
|3||1131114X21||GOLDEN ARCHER||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4||57kg||100|
|4||1X21||SPECTER||Anthony Freedman||Nicholas Hall||5||56.5kg||80|
|5||11X6||ABSALON||Jason McLachlan||Brad Rawiller||11||56.5kg||70|
|6||0X67513X0||ISOPACH||John P Thompson||–||12||56kg||72|
|7||142483X37||GRAND BRITANNIA||Robbie Laing||Dwayne Dunn||7||55kg||75|
|8||8X11X33||SECRET HILLS||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||3||55kg||72|
|9||0112||CHASE THE RAINBOW||Rick Hore-Lacy||Dean Yendall||2||55kg||74|
|10||11||THAT’S THE ONE||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Craig Williams||8||55kg||75|
|11||1X04||SABRAGE||Michael Moroney||Ms Lisa Cropp||9||55kg||70|
|12||12||CROSS OF GOLD||David Hayes||Damien Oliver||10||55kg||72|