The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Tony McEvoy is more confident than ever ahead of the spring with the current Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas 2017 favourite Royal Symphony following a smart Flemington jump out on Friday morning.
Set to resume racing in mid-September, the undefeated Domesday colt is already the clear pre-field favourite in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Group 1 $2 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 14 this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The new season three-year-old sits at a quote of $6 in the all-in Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas odds, with Blue Diamond winning filly Catchy the next best in early betting at $11.
Royal Symphony hasn’t raced since taking his record up to three-from-three with a dominant four and a quarter-length Flemington win in Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) over the mile on July 8.
That followed two equally dominant wins when successful at Pakenham on the Synthetic track over 1200m on debut in late May and then over 1400m at Flemington defeating Whoomph by nearly four lengths a month later.
On Friday morning Royal Symphony was put through his paces by Dwayne Dunn and showed McEvoy everything he needed to see at this stage of his preparation, aside from a quick jump from the gates.
“I did want to see him jump out of the gates a little better,” McEvoy told Racing Victoria.
“If there was one thing I could change, and there’s not much I want to change with him, he has always stepped out a little slow from the gates.
“Dwayne Dunn said he was much better today, and once he jumped out he just brought him back and gave him a nice cruisy jump out.
“He wasn’t here to do much today, it was all about stimulation and feeling good, not for assessment.”
McEvoy has scheduled a return to Flemington Racecourse on September 16 in the Listed $120,000 Exford Plate (1400m) as the likely spring starting point for Royal Symphony.
The gun youngster will then progress towards the Caulfield Guineas field via a lead-up run in the Group 2 $200,000 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 29.
“We’ve kept his muscle but freshened up his head, we’ve got him feeling really good about himself,” McEvoy explained.
“His base fitness is still there so it’s not going to take much tinkering to get him back to where we want him.
“September 16 is the goal date to start off, so we’ve got time on our side.
“The path that I like is the Listed Exford Plate at Flemington on 16th September, and then it’s a fortnight into the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley, and then a fortnight into the Guineas.”
McEvoy has saddled-up six Caulfield Guineas runners in the past 30 years for two seconds and a third, including his Stutt Stakes winner Hey Doc who finished third to Divine Prophet (1st) and Seaburge (2nd) in last year’s Caulfield Guineas trifecta.
“It’s not too dissimilar to Hey Doc last year,” McEvoy said of the planned spring campaign of Royal Symphony.
“He won the Bill Stutt Stakes and then into the Guineas and was beaten by a bad barrier so it seemed to work then, and I think it fits very well with Royal Symphony too.
“He’s still looking nice and soft and full in condition, which I think is where we need him for what he’s got ahead of him.
“The horse is in such a great mindset, he really is very happy.
“He thinks he’s the best horse in my stable and I’m not disagreeing with him.”
The last Caulfield Guineas winner to back directly up off a Stutt Stakes run into the Group 1 meanwhile was Mark Kavanagh’s subsequent weight-for-age champion Whobegotyou who did the double back in 2007.
To back Royal Symphony at his generous early Caulfield Guineas 2017 odds head to the race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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