Darley’s head trainer Peter Snowden has become the first trainer since 1996 to take out the spring Guineas double with his star filly Guelph completing it today with her effortless Thousand Guineas 2013 win at Caulfield.
Just four days earlier the team took out the Caulfield Guineas with Cox Plate-bound Long John.
Then today it was back in the Caulfield winner’s stall with the faultless Guelph, a beautifully bred daughter of Exceed And Excel out of Elusive Quality mare Camarilla.
The $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) victory was Guelph’s fourth elite level trophy.
Her first two majors can against the boys in the autumn as a juvenile when she won the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes – Champagne Stakes double.
Then last start she beat home the girls without breaking a sweat in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
Showing she could handle both ways of racing today Guelph dominated another mile classic, this time in Melbourne, with a bold front-running ride from her jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
McEvoy obviously had confidence in his mount, the dynamic duo positive right from the jump.
“We know she’s dominant at a mile,” Snowden explained post-race on TVN.
“She runs it true while a lot of fillies in the race hadn’t been to a mile before.
“He (McEvoy) backed her ability too.”
Guelph rolled along up front controlling the race and temp, quickening at the top of the straight like a good filly should, always looking the winner.
In an all-the-way effort Guelph was challenged over the final few hundred metres by second best in betting May’s Dream, the Darren Weir-trained New Approach filly coming off a 1400m win at the track.
However they couldn’t match the class or pace of the deserving odds-on favourite who accelerated away like a true professional to put an easy one and a half lengths on their closest rival and take home the Thousand Guineas trophy.
Finishing off the winning Thousand Guineas trifecta in third was then David Hayes’ Prelude winner Gregers, who had a lovely run trailing the favourite throughout on the fence.
“She’s a dream to be around, a dream to ride and a lovely filly to be on the back of that’s for sure,” McEvoy said after coming back to scale.
“I had a few different scenarios in my head (on how I was going to ride her).
“When she began so well I thought ‘stuff it’ I’ll take the race by the scruff of the neck.
“Well done to the team it was a nice prize for her for sure.”
With the win Snowden became the first trainer since Bart Cummings (1996) to win the Caulfield Guineas – Thousand Guineas double while McEvoy, who also rode Long John to victory over the weekend, was the first Guineas double winning jockey since Steven King 11 years ago.
The seventh favourite in 11 years to salute for the punters in the fillies’ race, Guelph was the shortest-priced favourite in over 30 years to win.
Before her the shortest to salute in that time were Alinghi (2004) and Atlantic Jewel (2011) both paying $1.70.
While Snowden confirmed earlier they would continue on with a $3 million Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) bid with Long John at Moonee Valley on October 25, the chances they will back Guelph up in the weight-for-age race are much slimmer.
“She’s a very, very good filly with a great attitude to go with it,” Snowden said.
“She’s very tradesman like….she can just keep finding.
“She’s a well-deserved winner, good on her.”
Snowden has always been a big believer that the Guineas should be her final run this prep, and was pushing for a break in the paddock ahead of an autumn return.
“She’s a very well bred filly, a very gifted filly,” he said.
“I think the autumn might be the best we’ll see her.”
The decision however will be made by all involved with the filly including owner Sheikh Mohammed who may make the call to continue onto the Cox Plate where fillies have a disastrous record.
“It’s not my call alone, it’s the team’s decision,” Snowden said.
“I’ve made it known all along I’d like to stop with her now.
“We’ll talk to the boss at home and see what his thoughts are but I hope they make the right decision.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for more on Guelph next race.
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2013 Thousand Guineas Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 6 – 16/10/2013
|1||1||GUELPH||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||–||5||55.5kg||$1.45F|
|2||5||MAY’S DREAM||Darren Weir||Nicholas Hall||1.75L||3||55.5kg||$7.50|
|3||2||GREGERS||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||4.25L||2||55.5kg||$10|
|4||8||WORDPLAY||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||5L||6||55.5kg||$26|
|5||3||BOUND FOR EARTH||John O’Shea||James McDonald||6.75L||7||55.5kg||$26|
|6||9||GYPSY DIAMOND||John O’Shea||Brett Prebble||6.85L||1||55.5kg||$151|
|7||4||SE SAUVER||Matt Laurie||Damian Lane||8.85L||4||55.5kg||$21|
|8||6||GODIVA ROCK||Michael Kent||Dwayne Dunn||11.35L||9||55.5kg||$71|
|9||7||MIRACLE TO ME||John McArdle||Chris Symons||18.35L||8||55.5kg||$81|