Trainer Mick Price will kick off the Caulfield Guineas 2016 campaign of his lightly-raced colt Hardham this Saturday in the Vain Stakes.
A total of 13 three-year-old colts and geldings make up the nominations for this weekend’s $150,000 Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) including Price’s nicely-bred son of 1999 Caulfield Guineas winner Redoute’s Choice Hardham.
Formerly prepared by Peter Moody the youngster, a full brother to Group 1 New Zealand winner King’s Rose, has had just one run to date when winning a two-years-old maiden at Pakenham on debut over 1200m back in early March.
He returns for his opening new season run and first start for Price on P.B. Lawrence Stakes Day and is currently paying $8.50 as one of five single-figure hopes in pre-field Vain Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The undefeated Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Russian Revolution is the $2.80 top fancy in the all-in Vain Stakes odds, the Sydney galloper avoiding a clash at home with stablemate Capitalist in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Hardham will have Damien Oliver aboard in the Vain Stakes and was put through his paces on Tuesday morning with a strong piece of work at the course proper at Caulfield, impressing Price ahead of the weekend’s test with a win over stablemate Baffert.
“He finished about two lengths ahead of Baffert,” Price told Racenet.
“He ran a half-mile (800m) in 51.93 and 23.62 for the last 400m.
“He had a good hit-out. He went well and he’ll be going well again on Saturday when he runs into the finish.
“He’s had a 12 week prep and he’s fit enough to run very well.
“He’ll sit off the speed and finish strongly. He’s not gunned to win but I certainly need to see him run well.”
Price is gearing Hardham up for a shot at the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8, a race Redoute’s Choice subsequently sired the winner of in 2005 with God’s Own.
Local horseman Price meanwhile has saddled-up 10 Caulfield Guineas hopefuls over the past three decades for two third place efforts.
Hardham is paying $51 in futures Caulfield Guineas betting to get the job done in an upset for Price this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Price also hasn’t ruled out an earlier trip to Sydney for a shot at the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 10.
“At this time of the year you’ve got plenty of horses that have been looked after as two-year-olds with a view to being three-year-olds and he’s in that category,” Price explained.
“He’s a quality colt and he’ll run through the stakes races into the Caulfield Guineas but he may be a Golden Rose horse.”
Capitalist is early favourite in Golden Rose Stakes betting at $4.40 just ahead of David Vandyke’s ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winning filly Yankee Rose ($6).
Hardham is a $52 outsider to hand Price, winner of last season’s Blue Diamond Stakes quinella with Extreme Choice (1st) and Flying Artie (2nd), his first Golden Rose victory.
Back Hardham in the Vain Stakes this Saturday and check out the full futures Group 1 racing markets on the upcoming Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 first time depositor’s bonus with use of the code BETBONUS!