Dual Blue Diamond Stakes winning hoop Kerrin McEvoy is confident his mount for this year’s edition of the $1 million classic Guelphhas the class to overcome her awkwardly wide barrier on Saturday.
One of three smart fillies representing trainer Peter Snowden in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend, Exceed And Excel two-year-old Guelph is currently battling for favouritism with undefeated Adelaide raider Miracles Of Life in the Blue Diamond odds.
The Daniel Clarken-trained Miracles Of Life, last seen winning the Blue Diamond Fillies Preview, gained favour with the punters when coming up trumps with the inside alley for Saturday.
Guelph meanwhile was hit with a double-digit gate drawn in 13, but McEvoy said the barrier was not the end.
To date Guelph has had three runs producing two wins and a second.
The second was on debut last October at Randwick when runner-up to Brilliant Bisc in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m).
She then resumed some four months later at Warwick farm to win the Vinery Plate before making her Melbourne debut on February 9 at Caulfield with a smart 1.5 length victory in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m).
In all of three of her runs Guelph is yet to jump from wider than nine, but from 13 on Saturday McEvoy still rates her the one to beat especially if the pace is on from the inside.
“She will settle back anyway and hopefully come storming home,” he said.
“There is a lot of pace on her inside which may suit.”
McEvoy was aboard for her maiden run and again in the Prelude and will stick with her on Saturday attempting to secure his third Blue Diamond trophy adding to those he won with True Jewels (2001) and Sepoy (2011).
Snowden’s two other Blue Diamond chances are then Chairman’s Stakes winner Metastasio who will be ridden by Glen Boss from an equally awkward barrier 12 draw, and Montsegur who comes off a second in the Prelude and who was the winner of the trio with gate eight and Christian Reith to ride.
McEvoy rode both Guelph and Metastastio in a track gallop on Tuesday morning and was happy with the work of both fillies.
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