Peter Snowden’s highly-rated colt Helmet has overtaken Smart Missile as the Caulfield Guineas 2011 favourite following the son of Exceed And Excel’s commanding victory in the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield over the weekend.
Dual Group 1 hero Helmet was on their best behaviour on Saturday, the ace three-year-old doing everything right to win the Caulfield Guineas Prelude and keep not only their Caulfield Guineas, but also their 2011 Cox Plate hopes alive.
Wayward racing looked a thing of the past for Helmet who went out as the 58.5kg topweight of the Prelude field, jumped beautifully from the gates and settled into a nice spot second behind early leader Golden Archer.
Once on the straight jockey Kerrin McEvoy took Helmet up on the outside of the leader and they easily hit the front and raced ahead to win running away.
On the line Helmet ($2.60F) had an easy three and a quarter lengths to spare over the Mick Price-trained Secret Hills ($18) who did well to work their way up through the field to second, while Anthony Freedman’s Specter ($14) was a further three lengths away third.
“Today is probably the first day where I can say he did everything right,” Snowden said on Saturday.
“He bounced perfect, he travelled good off a hot speed, he relaxed, quickened into his stride.
“I think today was only a touch of what the horse’s ability truly is.”
Helmet won the Prelude in a time of 1.21.40 which was just 0.2 seconds outside the track record set by his sire Exceed And Excel.
The dominant victory boosted Helmet’s career record to five wins from eight starts for $895,550 in prize money, and also pushed them to the top of the Luxbet markets for the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8.
2011 Caulfield Guineas Odds
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.
Helmet now leads Guineas betting at a quote of $3.40, in from $7 pre-Prelude win.
They are also still among the entries for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22, Luxbet firming Helmet into the $10 third favourite in the Cox Plate odds.
“He has to really prove it next start and if he can win (the Guineas) next start we will think about it (the Cox Plate),” Snowden said.
“At the moment I am just thinking about the Guineas in two weeks time.
“It is there but he has to be as dominant as today or even more so next start before we think about that as it (the Cox Plate) is an absolute professional race at a very tricky track.”
Antony Cummings’ gun Fastnet Rock colt Smart Missile has drifted out in the Caulfield Guineas odds at Luxbet and is now the $3.80 second elect.
Smart Missile did not contest the Prelude, connections instead testing them against open-age company in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Sent to the back of the field due to their horror barrier 17 of 17 draw, Smart Missile was never a winning chance in the elite level feature and after getting caught in traffic could only manage to run 10th beaten four lengths by winner Toorak Toff.
Still, they will have lost few admirers with their sectional times over the last 800 metres beating Helmet’s on every account bar the final 200 metres where Helmet ran 11.2 and Smart Missile 11.3 seconds.
Meanwhile, Caulfield Guineas Prelude runner-up Secret Hills is likely to press onto the grand final Saturday week and are at a quote of $31 in the futures betting at Luxbet, equal odds with Saturday’s third placegetter Specter.
Trailing Helmet and Smart Missile in the markets are the Peter Moody-trained Moment Of Change ($6), who is doubtful acceptor, and Manawanui ($6.50).
Ron Leemon’s Golden Rose winner Manawanui also raced on the weekend, the progressive gelding taking out the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill but their Guineas odds remaining steady as the quality of rivals they defeated on Saturday wasn’t exactly A-grade.
See below for the full Caulfield Guineas Prelude 2011 results, then to get in on the Guineas real deal betting, head to Luxbet.
2011 Caulfield Guineas Prelude Results & Finishing Order
|1||1||HELMET||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||–||5||58.5kg||$2.60F|
|2||8||SECRET HILLS||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||3.25L||2||55kg||$18|
|3||4||SPECTER||Anthony Freedman||Nicholas Hall||6.25L||4||56.5kg||$14|
|4||2||RUNNING TALL||Danny O’Brien||Mark Zahra||6.65L||1||57.5kg||$51|
|5||12||CROSS OF GOLD||David Hayes||Damien Oliver||9.4L||8||55kg||$11|
|6||10||THAT’S THE ONE||Colin & Cindy Alderson||Craig Williams||9.5L||7||55kg||$5.50|
|7||6||ISOPACH||John P Thompson||Danny Nikolic||9.7L||10||56kg||$201|
|8||5||ABSALON||Jason McLachlan||Brad Rawiller||11.7L||9||56.5kg||$21|
|9||3||GOLDEN ARCHER||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||12L||3||57kg||$3.60|
|10||7||GRAND BRITANNIA||Robbie Laing||Dwayne Dunn||15.5L||6||55kg||$26|
|–||9||CHASE THE RAINBOW||Rick Hore-Lacy||Dean Yendall||–||0||–||–|
|–||11||SABRAGE||Michael Moroney||Ms Lisa Cropp||–||0||–||–|