1600m of Caulfield Guineas no problem for Astern

Godolphin’s number one rider James McDonald is super confident that Astern will have no problem stepping up to the 1600m of the Group 1 $1m Caulfield Guineas at Caulfield on October 8.

James McDonald and Astern, above, combine to win the Golden Rose at Rosehill. Photo Steve Hart.

James McDonald and Astern, above, combine to win the Golden Rose at Rosehill. Photo Steve Hart.

McDonald brought John O’Shea trained Astern from near the tail of the field to record a stunning win in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill last Saturday.

The Sydney premiership winning jockey said that Astern proved superior to the Sydney three year olds last Saturday he can’t see any of the Melbourne trained three year olds beating him over the 1600m.

“I don’t think it’ll be a problem – just with his racing style,” McDonald told Racing.com’s Racing Ahead on RSN 927.

“I really think he’s got too many lengths up his sleeve on a few of them – he’s the most dominant colt up in Sydney, and I think our formlines are a bit stronger than Melbourne.

“His opposition have got to make up a fair few lengths on him, and I think he’s got a lap on them, so it should be a good contest.”

McDonald has no concerns with Astern racing in the reverse way in Melbourne but will be weary heading to Caulfield for the time in the in the Group 3 $175,000 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 24.

“He’ll be fine (the Melbourne way). I’ve worked him that way before, just for the education,” McDonald said.

“If anything, it might be the Caulfield track would be his only stumbling block.

“He’s a pretty adaptable sort of horse, nothing really fazes him, but funnier things have happened in racing.

“I know very good horses can get beaten at Caulfield, it’s a bit of a graveyard, but we’ll find out in a couple of weeks time.”

Astern took his race record to five wins from six starts with his Golden Rose victory boosting his prizemoney to just over the million dollar mark and he has jumped to the top of the Caulfield Guineas market order at $3.20 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Team Hawkes trained Divine Propeht at $8 and Kiwi three year old Sacred Elixir at $10.

Divine Prophet finished just behind the placegetters when fourth in the Golden Rose while the Tony Pike trained Sacred Elixir will have his first run since winning the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 11 in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude.

Early market order for the Caulfield Guineas at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Astern, $8 Divine Prophet, $10 Sacred Elixir, $11 Omei Sword, $13 Evacuation, Impending, $17 Saracino, $21 Archives, $26 Detective, Highlad, Prized Icon, Seaburge.

To get the right prices throughout the Spring Carnival make sure you’ve got an account open at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).


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