Golden Rose winner Epaulette heads a 14-horse list of nominations for Sunday’s 2012 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
The Darley-owned colt was considered only an outside chance in the Golden Rose but flashed down the outside to beat home stablemate Albrecht and the John O’Shea-trained Ashokan.
With a handicap rating of 106, he is the clear standout for Sunday’s $750,000 Group 3 event with Ashokan 24 points below.
Epaulette showed plenty of ability as a two-year-old with a win in the Black Opal Stakes and a second to Pierro in the Todman Stakes.
He also finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Pierro in his first-up test this year when third in the Group 3 Run To The Rose at Rosehill.
Ashokan was another who was not expected to feature in Golden Rose contention but he finished strongly to claim third-place honours and collect $100,000 for connections.
All the Guineas Prelude contenders will be out to press their claims ahead of next month’s Group 1 Caulfield Guineas which offers a purse of $1 million.
Also among them is the Danny O’Brien-trained Shamexpress who ran third in the McNeil Stakes earlier this month before failing to make an impact in the Golden Rose.
Other horses who have signalled potential ahead of the Caulfield Guineas are Awesome Bro and Dominant who are both lightly raced.
Awesome Bro has won two of four starts and was most recently seen running second to Jimando in the Henry Bucks Stakes while Dominant was beaten by a head in the McKenzite Stakes last month and has placed twice from three starts.
Other horses contesting the Guineas Prelude include the Peter Moody-trained Liberty Rock and Mick Price’s Zahee.
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Caulfield Guineas Prelude 2012 – Nominations
|3||AWESOME BRO (NZ)||Leon Corstens||72|
|4||DEFIANT ANGEL||Anthony Freedman||62|
|7||IF I COULD (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh||64|
|8||LET GO LENNI||Mick Price||62|
|9||LIBERTY ROCK||Peter G Moody||65|
|11||SHAMEXPRESS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||72|
|12||SUPER COOL||Mark Kavanagh||62|
|13||TIMELY TRUCE||Ricky Maund||65|
|14||ZAHEE (NZ)||Mick Price||70|