Trainer Tom Dabernig is hoping the addition of blinkers to Seaburge’s race day gear will give him the necessary improvement to be competitive in the Group 3 $175,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday and stamp himself as a genuine Caulfield Guineas chance.
Seaburge has failed to live up to Dabernig’s expectation to date but an improved performance this week with the blinkers on will see his chances lift for Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield in a fortnight.
“He has been racing well. We have put him into blinkers for this,” Dabernig told RSN’ Racing Ahead.
“This is a race that he probably has to put his hand up if he is going to be a contender in the Guineas.”
“I always thought he was a Caulfield Guineas chance. This preparation he hasn’t quite come out and hit his straps yet but in fairness to the horse he has had the benefit of those couple of runs and the blinkers go on.”
Seaburge is by Sebring, the same sire as Lindsay Park’s multiple Group 1 winner Criterion who wore the blinkers in most of his major victories and Dabernig is hoping to get the same result with this colt.
“Criterion for instance did all of his racing in blinkers so I am not sure if it is a Sebring thing or not. Blinkers can really switch a horse on,” Dabernig said.
The Lindsay Park co-trainer is also hoping for better luck in running after Seaburge was held up for a run at a vital stage when fifth to Detective in the Listed $120,000 Starlight Express Room Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 10.
“At the 1400m at Flemington he got held up coming into the straight and he only got through late and actually wasn’t beaten too far,” Danernig said.
Mark Zahar has been the regular rider for Seaburge and gets the mount again and should he able to settle him in a good trailing position form a midfield barrier draw.
Dabernig, who trains in partnership with David and Ben Hayes will also saddle up Valliano who will jump from the outside of the field that has been reduced to fifteen with Luke Currie in the saddle.
Valliano is coming off a last start sixth to Saracino in the Group 2 $200,000 Danehill Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight on September 10 and is stepping up to the 1400m in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude for the first time.
“First time at the trip. He gives the indication that the 1400m wouldn’t be a problem for him,” Dabernig said.
“From that wide gate I would just be inclined to riding him quiet and hopefully he can find the line.”
Seaburge is well fancied in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude betting at Ladbrokes.com.au and is marked at $7.50 behind the John O’Shea trained Archives at $4.60, Saracino and Sydney colt Evacuation at $5 and the Kiwi Group 1 winner Sacred Elixir at $6.50.
Market order for the Caulfield Guineas Prelude at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Archives, $5 Saracino, Evacuation, $6.50 Sacred Elixir, $7.50 Seaburge, $15 Revolving Door, $16 Wazzenme, $17 Hardham, $26 Valliano, $34 Yu Long Sheng Hui, So Si Bon, $51 I’m Telling Ya, $61 Violate, $101 Lucky Beau, $126 Bee Jay’s Choice.