Local horseman Rick Hore-Lacy has confirmed his promising youngster Clevadude will commence their new season campaign targeting the $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October with a handicap race at Caulfield Racecourse this Saturday.
A rising Bel Esprit three-year-old, Clevadude has had just the three starts to date for two wins before their disappointing last start failure in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) in Queensland.
Their Cranbourne debut back in December was a beauty, the gelding scoring by three and a half lengths in a 1000m sprint.
They thrived over the same short distance at Moonee Valley a fortnight later with an even more impressive four and a half length effort.
They failed to back up when racing the opposite way against a higher class of rivals on the Gold Coast on January 12 however, Clevadude beaten 10 lengths when 14th behind Real Surreal in the lucrative Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
Hore-Lacy sent them to the paddock immediately after to recover and mature.
Now they are gearing up for a return to racing having been nominated for the $80,000 Super Vobis Two-Years-Old Handicap (1000m) at their home track on the weekend.
There were a bumper 36 juveniles nominated for the feature too making for a hotly contested showdown.
Clevadude is being prepared for a big Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival assault with Hore-Lacy eyeing the Caulfield Guineas for them on Saturday October 12.
Originally they were to begin their Caulfield Guineas prep a little earlier at Moonee Valley on June 29 however Hore-Lacy is mindful of the condition they’ve put on over their break.
“I thought he was still a bit too big in condition to win the race at Moonee Valley,” Hore-Lacy explained on Monday.
“After he had a jumpout at Caulfield that week he blew for half an hour and I thought he’d be better if we waited until this week so that I could get a couple of extra gallops into him.
“We’ll gallop him tomorrow morning (Tuesday) or we might give him a soft jumpout but I haven’t yet decided.”
Hore-Lacy will be vying for his second Caulfield Guineas trophy this year having prepared the 1999 winner turned leading sire Redoute’s Choice.
He could also keep Clevadude in work after the Caulfield Guineas eyeing more elite level successes in the spring with the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday November 2, another long term option.
“We’re all in this business to dream, most of us are eternal optimists regarding our horses and what they might do so in a perfect world he’ll run in the Caulfield Guineas,” he said.
“When you’ve got a good horse, you’ve got lots of options so what distance he runs is really a secondary consideration.
“At the end of the day, he’s got so many options and the Caulfield Guineas is one option and the Coolmore is another.”