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Saturday’s Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas 2017 field has suffered its first casualty with the Kiwi connections of Group 1 winner Summer Passage bypassing the mile feature.
Jockey Glen Boss has lost the chance to win the stallion-making race for the first time since saluting on God’s Own in 2005 after the early scratching of the Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott-trained Summer Passage from this year’s edition of the Group 1 $2 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Winner of the Group 1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) back home across the Tasman at Ellerslie as a two-year-old in mid-March, Summer Passage will be saved for another run over that sprint distance at Caulfield Racecourse next Wednesday.
The Group 3 $350,000 Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on October 18 is the new next-up target for the smart Snitzel colt who was drawn the extreme outside in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas barriers on Saturday.
“It’s just too hard from out there in a race like that,” co-trainer O’Sullivan told NZ Racing Desk.
“I spoke with his owner and he’s obviously disappointed, but understood how tough it would be so we’re going back to our original plan.”
A spring Group 1 win could still be on the cards for Summer Passage however who targets the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, November 4, on Day 1 of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Hong Kong-owned Summer Passage debuted down under at Randwick during Sydney’s ‘The Championships’ for a close second when under a length off the winner Invader on a Heavy (8) track in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
He returned to Australia on September 16 at Flemington and looked wayward, unsuited to the ‘Straight Six’ track in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m).
The Kiwi raider finished two and a half-lengths back eighth in the Danehill, won by Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Catchy.
The Lindsay Park-trained Catchy backed-up for a third as the beaten favourite in the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) on October 1, while Summer Passage contested the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on the same day.
Despite the loss to Booker, Catchy gets the chance to make history as the first filly to win the Caulfield Guineas in 60 years this weekend taking on the colts and geldings in the $2 million feature.
Summer Passage was far from disgraced in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude race finishing a length back second to the winner Perast as a $16 chance, but won’t be stepped-up to a mile.
The decision to target the 2017 Coolmore Stud Stakes seems an interesting run based on the colt’s performance at Flemington two back, but the distance was the deciding factor according to O’Sullivan.
“He’s got a good record over the shorter distances so we don’t think it’s a problem and Hugh Bowman will be riding him in the Blue Sapphire,” the Matamata-based horseman said.
Catchy meanwhile pays $4.60 as the second favourite in Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas betting at Ladbrokes.com.au on Saturday, trailing only the Tony McEvoy-trained Royal Symphony ($4.20).
Royal Symphony, to be ridden by last year’s winning hoop Dwayne Dunn, has the X-Factor according to champion jockey Jim Cassidy and will wear winkers in an attempt to sharpen him up after the lead-up fourth in the Prelude.
The Summer Passage scratching has also paved the way for the sole emergency Mighty Boss (5) to gain a run in the Caulfield Guineas for trainer Mick Price.
To check out the updated Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas 2017 odds and to check out the upcoming Flemington racing markets for Summer Passage in the Coolmore Stud Stakes visit Ladbrokes.com.au.
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