Albany horseman Steve Wolfe is hoping the decision to keep his double-figure outsider Three Secrets fresh ahead of the Group 2 $500,000 Sky Racing W.A. Guineas (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday will prove a winning move.
A full field of three-year-old milers face off in the W.A. Guineas field on Railway Stakes Day this weekend including Wolfe’s lightly-raced and untapped So Secret gelding Three Secrets.
The latest W.A. Guineas betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au only list the young up-and-comer as a $20 chance, but Wolfe believes that after years of trying he may have uncovered the key to winning the half-a-million-dollar feature.
Chasing his maiden W.A. Guineas trophy, Wolfe has previously given his other hopefuls in previous editions of the race a few more lead-up runs over the spring – summer season in Perth.
This time around however he has purposely kept Three Secrets to just three career starts going back to late September.
“We’ve elected to keep him fresh and hopefully we’ve left enough there,” Wolfe told the Albany Advertiser on Thursday.
“Previously we’ve taken horses in that have had more runs but are coming to the end of their preparation or have used everything up getting there.
“He is a young horse having his fourth start and he’s got plenty to give.”
After back-to-back Belmont seconds over 1200m, the horse seemed to relish the step-up in distance on October 28 at the Ascot track breaking his maiden status in a $60,000 set weights plus penalties race over 1500m.
Jockey Shaun McGruddy retains the ride for Saturday’s notable rise in class, Three Secrets drawn in barrier eight that could become seven if the two emergencies do not get a call-up.
“He is in really good order and I couldn’t be happier with him,” Wolfe added.
“I was very happy with his work on Tuesday and I’m sure he can go very close.
“Lack of experience is the only real question mark.”
Despite the bumper size of the field, there are only four W.A. Guineas runners currently under double-figures for the win through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Daniel & Ben Pearce’s last start Listed $100,000 Fairetha Stakes winner over 1400m Money Maher ($4.20) is the narrow favourite ahead of the widely-drawn filly Perfect Jewel ($4.80).
Cult hero in the W.A. racing circles, jockey William Pike returns to the saddle of Redoute’s Choice filly Perfect Jewel from the Karnup stables of Grant & Alana Williams.
She enjoyed three wins on the trot at short odds to kick off her career, including success on October 28 at Ascot in the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m).
Pike jumped off her for the first time last start when Perfect Jewel suffered her maiden loss crossing one-and-a-quarter-lengths off the Pike-ridden stablemate Mikimoto in the Listed Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m).
With her regular rider back aboard, Perfect Filly is tipped to return to her best taking on the colts and geldings over the 1600m on Saturday, while Mikimoto raced last weekend when a half-length third in the Group 3 $200,000 W.A. Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m).
Latest betting for the 2017 W.A. Guineas at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Money Maher, $4.80 Perfect Jewel, $8.50 Art Series, $9 Arcadia Prince, $11 Debellatio, $13 Achernar Star, $13 Roganella, $14 Salubrious, $16 Sophia’s Secret, $16 Gaulois, $20 Three Secrets, $26 Private Dancer, $34 Brutus Maximus (second emergency), $41 Reykjavik, $51 Vital Dancer, $81 Hoodlum Thunder (first emergency), $101 Athlete, $201 Turbo Power.