Caulfield trainer Mick Price will use this Saturday’s run down the Flemington straight in the Danehill Stakes as a guide to whether or not he’ll be around at the end of October for the Coolmore Stud Stakes 2015.
The main Group 1 target for the youngster this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is the $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10 over the mile.
It is the Guineas aim that had connections of Price’s More Than Ready colt – Sun International -decide to bypass the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) in Sydney this weekend and instead run at Flemington in the $200,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m).
“Sun International had a bit of a query on the Golden Rose, taking the horse up there running in the 1400 and then bringing him back,” Price said from trackwork on Tuesday morning.
“The question was, would it impact on him in a preparation sense and I couldn’t really guarantee that it wasn’t going to impact on him.
“So they wanted to take the safer option and run him down the straight, which is fine. So we’ll run him there and then probably run him in the Prelude and the Caulfield Guineas.”
The 2015 Golden Rose field attracted just nine runners led by John O’Shea’s Run To The Rose winner Exosphere and Chris Waller’s JJ Atkins champ Press Statement who resumed with a second in the same traditional lead-up.
Despite the small number in the Rose, Price is happy to run his horse over 200m shorter in Melbourne where he’ll likely jump favourite in Danehill Stakes betting through Ladbrokes.com.au before the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on Underwood Stakes Day, September 26.
A winner on debut at Flemington back in early March, Ready For Victory ran fourth to Vancouver in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) next run before his seventh to Pride Of Dubai in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in his final run as a two-year-old.
He had his first spring start on August 29 at Caulfield and was brave in defeat crossing a neck away second to the Peter Moody-trained Golden Rose hope Gold Symphony in the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes (1200m), a first-up effort that Price was pleased with.
In the McNeil Stakes Ready For Victory was ridden by Mark Zahra in the place of the suspended Damien Oliver who has the Danehill ride this weekend.
“He worked good here this morning, Damien ride him on the course proper and he’s ready to go,” Price said.
Ready For Victory is also high up the futures Caulfield Guineas odds paying $5 in markets narrowly led by Press Statement.
Long term there is also an option to drop Ready For Victory back down in distance post-Caulfield Guineas with an eye on running him in the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, October 31, a win in which would notably increase his value at stud.
“He’s won down the straight, it’ll be a good race and it might be a bit of a practice run for the Coolmore, you never know,” Price said.
“The Caulfield Guineas is one aim and three weeks later fresh in the Coolmore, but it’s a fairly stiff task. That’s what we’re thinking anyway.”
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