Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
New Zealand hoop Jim Cassidy has described Saturday’s favourite Royal Symphony as having the “X-Factor” ahead of the colt’s run in the 2017 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas.
A dual Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup winning jockey, Cassidy also enjoyed two victories in the stallion-making Caulfield Guineas race in the past three decades aboard Drawn (1985) and Redoute’s Choice (1999).
This weekend the Group 1 $2 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) steals the show in Melbourne, a full 16 three-year-olds set to contest the mile classic including the Mick Price-trained emergency Mighty Boss coming in for early scratching Summer Passage.
Most trainers talk up the hopes of their runners in a Group 1 leading-up to race day, but in this case Hall of Famer Cassidy believes the hype McEvoy is spinning around Royal Symphony is worth listening to.
The big change with Royal Symphony on Saturday will be the addition of winkers to his gear, which should prove a winning move according to Cassidy.
“I love what Tony McEvoy is saying about this horse since they whacked the winkers on him,” Cassidy told Racing Victoria.
“I’ve seen what this gear change can do to a young horse.”
The Domesday colt won his opening four career starts before suffering his first loss last time out at Caulfield on October 1 in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
In his first run at the course the horse finished three and a half-lengths back fourth behind Perast, a run Royal Symphony is tipped to atone for in the Group 1 rematch on Saturday.
Half of the Caulfield Guineas winners in the past eight years had their final lead-up in the Prelude, with two doing the double.
The form Royal Symphony brings into the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas field this spring however follows that of the race’s 2009 winner Starspangledbanner, who improved on a Prelude for his win as the hot favourite.
Jockey Dwayne Dunn retains the ride on the favourite on the weekend chasing back-to-back Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas wins after success aboard Divine Prophet in 2016.
It’s not only the three-years-old race that Cassidy rates Royal Symphony a winning chance in, but also the Group 1 $3 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 28.
Sure there is a little horse called Winx out to join Kingston Town with a trio of Cox Plate wins, but if anything going around could give Chris Waller’s super star a run for her money in the weight-for-age Classic Cassidy thinks Royal Symphony could be it.
“He’s got that X-factor about him and Winx aside, he’s the type of 3YO that could measure up in a Cox Plate,” Cassidy said.
After her emphatic and effortless six and a half-length Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) win last weekend, Winx has firmed into $1.25 in all-in Cox Plate odds.
Royal Symphony meanwhile is paying $26 to score the unlikely upset in futures Ladbrokes Cox Plate betting.
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