Jockey Kerrin McEvoy may be aboard the Golden Rose winner in the Caulfield Guineas 2012 field this Saturday but even he concedes that Epaulette is running for second behind untouchable colt Pierro in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival classic.
This morning a field of eight acceptors were released for the $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on Saturday, the Gai Waterhouse-trained headliner Pierro scaring off the bulk of the original 34 nominees.
The superlative Lonhro three-year-old is yet to taste defeat having won all eight of their career starts to date including a Group 1 triple as a juvenile during the autumn.
With Pierro, who is heading towards the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27, in the mix on Saturday the Caulfield Guineas title is seemingly already taken and their seven rivals will be fighting it out for the minor placings.
The best of the rest however looks to be Peter Snowden’s in-form Commands colt Epaulette.
Epaulette boasts the status of having come the closest to defeating Pierro of any of the Caulfield Guineas hopefuls when a short half-head away second in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill back in March.
They failed to produce the same sort of run next start however when crossing dead last (16 of 16) behind Pierro in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m), Epaulette beaten six lengths in the world’s richest race for juveniles.
After a five month spell Epaulette returned to Rosehill to make their three-year-old debut when third, beaten by Pierro again, this time in the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m).
Finally it was the Darely colt’s time to shine after that when they raced and won two Pierro-free races, the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) and the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
While the Golden Rose win is certainly a nice one to have in the bank, McEvoy knows that Epaulette really does have a tough task ahead when they race against Pierro for the fourth time in the Guineas.
“One of the few positives we can take into it is that we’ve got closer than anyone else has to Pierro,” McEvoy said.
The other positive according to McEvoy is Epaulette’s previous experience at Caulfield Racecourse, the odds-on favourite Pierro seeing the track for the first time on Saturday.
“At Caulfield the other day (in the Prelude) my horse loomed up and knew he had the job done, so he switched off and coasted the last furlong (200m),” McEvoy said.
”So, he only really tested himself for a hundred yards. Hopefully he can concentrate on Saturday and hammer home hard.”
The 2012 Caulfield Guineas barrier draw will be announced at 12:30pm (AEST) and published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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