Tomorrow Darley’s head trainer Peter Snowden will look to secure the Caulfield Guineas – Thousand Guineas 2013 double with his smart filly Guelph lining up in the latter, but do any of the other fillies in the field stand a chance of beating the odds-on favourite?
Last weekend Snowden celebrated the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) win with his talented Street Cry gelding Long John who is now a shot at the 2013 Cox Plate Saturday week.
He’ll return to Caulfield Racecourse on Wednesday now looking to also snare the fillies’ equivalent with the flying Guelph in the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m).
If successful, he will become the first trainer to take out the Guineas double since Bart Cummings did it back in 1996 with Alfa (Caulfield) and Dashing Eagle (Thousand).
A three-time Group 1 winner at last count, the daughter of Exceed And Excel took her earnings to $1.3 million last start on October 5 with her easy kill in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m)..
She runs over the mile for the third time in the Guineas, her other producing another Group 1 victory in Randwick’s Champagne Stakes over the boys back in April, and is paying a $1.40 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win making her the shortest priced favourite in the race for over 30 years.
There is a slim chance that should she win on Wednesday without breaking a sweat, owner Sheikh Mohammed could make the call to back her up in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) under weight-for-age at Moonee Valley on October 25.
“If she wins the Guineas in really good style we will leave the decision up to Sheikh Mohammed,” Darley’s Henry Plumptre told The Daily Telegraph.
“We will give him the parameters and let him make the decision.”
Should she go to the Cox Plate she’ll be looking down the barrel of one very imposing hoodoo with Surround (1976) the only filly in history to have won a Cox Plate.
“The weight-for-age horses this year are above average,” Plumptre added.
“You take Atlantic Jewel, Puissance De Lune, Super Cool, It’s A Dundeel, Fiorente – they look a very classy group of horses.
“Plus Guelph had a tough autumn. She was ready for the Blue Diamond, had a brief let-up, and then ran all the way through the Sydney autumn in the Golden Slipper, Sires and Champagne.
“You can go to the well too often.”
Having scared off the bulk of the season’s three-year-old fillies with her commanding lead-up form, Guelph will face eight rivals with Caulfield Guineas winning hoop Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
Her main dangers are perceived to be the Darren Weir-trained last start Caulfield winner May’s Dream ($8.50), David Hayes’ Thousand Guineas Prelude winner Gregers ($11) and Bound For Earth ($13) who defeated Guelph first-up in the Furious Stakes.
So do any of these have a genuine shot at the Thousand Guineas title? Or are they all racing for second?
2013 Thousand Guineas Form Facts & Betting Stats
- #1 Guelph ($1.40) will jump the shortest-priced favourite in the race for over 30 years; in that time the shortest before her to salute have been Alinghi (2004) and Atlantic Jewel (2011) who jumped $1.70 favourites
- Favourites have a good strike rate too winning six of the past 10 editions
- Trainer Peter Snowden is out to become the first trainer to win the Caulfield Guineas – Thousand Guineas double since Bart Cummings (1996)
- Jockey Kerrin McEvoy is looking to be the first Guineas double winning hoop since Steven King (2002)
- Guelph comes off a win in the Flight Stakes, the last filly to complete the Flight Stakes – Thousand Guineas double was Dashing Eagle (1996)
- #8 Wordplay ($21) will be ridden by the most successful Thousand Guineas winning jockey in recent time Damien Oliver who is after a record breaking sixth win in the classic this year
- Last year’s Thousand Guineas winner was the Leon Corstens-trained Commanding Jewel who came off a third in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, jumped from barrier 6 (of 16) and was ridden by Oliver
- This year #8 Wordplay has also drawn last year’s winning barrier (6), Commanding Jewel actually the first to ever win from that gate in the past 30 years
- The most successful Thousand Guineas barrier in that time meanwhile has been five with four wins which belongs on Wednesday to the favourite #1 Guelph
- The next best with three wins in the past 30 years is two which #2 Gregers ($11) will jump from this year
- Fillies to come via the Edward Manifold this year meanwhile are the winner #4 Se Sauver ($17), #8 Wordplay (5th) and #6 Godiva Rock (8th)
- As well as Commanding Jewel last year, the Edward Manifold has produced eight other Thousand Guineas winners in the past 15 years
- #2 Gregers also comes off a last-start win having taken out the Group 3 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) which surprisingly has only produced one winner in the past decade with Irish Lights (2008)
Whether you’re backing or sacking the Thousand Guineas favourite Guelph for tomorrow, make sure you lock in the best spring odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change