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Andrew Campbell’s New Zealand galloper Cauthen is back and work and gearing up for a return trip to Melbourne where they could aim for the 2014 Australian Guineas in March.
The Darci Brahma colt has had just the four runs to date, three of which have been down under.
After a massive eight and a half length win on debut at home at Te Rapa in July, connections bought the promising three-year-old to Australia for a shot at the early season riches.
After a second to Clevadude at Moonee Valley in a benchmark 78 race they were stepped up to stakes company back at the track in late August.
There they showed their potential to defeat subsequent Cox Plate winner Shamus Award by one and a half lengths to take out the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m).
Their last run however was a failed effort and one that saw their Caulfield Guineas campaign abandoned.
Going up to the 1400m at Flemington in September Cauthen found the 58.5kg and barrier 14 of 14 too much in the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1400m).
They finished 12th to the Peter Snowden-trained Long John, the McKenzie Stakes third placegetter who went on to win the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas over the mile, and were beaten nearly 10 lengths before being sent out for a spell.
They’ve returned to work now and are preparing for a Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival comeback having done a lot of maturing in their weeks off.
“The break did him the world of good and it might be a blessing in disguise for his career,” Campbell told Racing Victoria this week.
“He’s back in work and he looks a million dollars, I’m very happy with him and he’s having a gallop next week.”
If all goes to plan and they return in good form then Opaki-based Campbell will target them towards the prestigious $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 1.
“We’ll just see how he comes up before we make a decision,” he said.
“We’re just hoping that he comes back as good as we think that he is.
“I’m sure he will get a mile (1600m) but at this stage he can definitely sprint as well.”
They will kick things off in New Zealand however with a possible first-up option being the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham on January 18.
If not the Telegraph, they will resume the following weekend against a field of fellow three-year-olds.
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