Jockey Dwayne Dunn is banking on a hot pace up front to help backmarker Royal Symphony find the winner’s stall again in the Group 1 $2m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on Sunday.
Dunn said that the pace of the race last start didn’t suit Royal Symphony when he suffered his first defeat from five starts when fourth to Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas rival Perast in the Group 3 $175,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on October 1.
Even though Royal Symphony ran a slick 34.50 seconds for the last 600m in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude, it was not fast enough to pick up the winner Perast who raced on the pace.
“He produced the fastest last 600m in the Prelude. The race basically didn’t pan out for him,” Dunn told racing.com.
“We were disappointed not to be able to keep his unbeaten record intact but the way this race is likely to be run, I think it’ll suit him a lot more.”
Royal Symphony drew barrier nine in the original draw in the final sixteen horse field with the only emergency drawing barrier five meaning he could jump from gate eight.
Trainer Tony McEvoy had added a set of winkers to Royal Symphony’s race day gear and Dunn is expecting the gear change to help the Domesday colt take more interest in the early stages of the race.
“The winkers will sharpen him up, he’ll be ready for whatever unfolds this weekend,” Dunn said.
“I guess the barrier is better than 17 and he’s a horse that takes a few strides to wind up.”
Despite his last start defeat, Royal Symphony is still the reigning $4.20 favourite for the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas with Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of the Lindsay Park trained Catchy at $4.80 and Godolphin’s Kementari at $5.50.
Catchy has drawn barrier three and is also a backmarker so Royal Symphony and the Snitzel filly could be making their runs in the straight together.