Darley gelding Long John will jump from the inside barrier when he starts as favourite in the 2013 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on Saturday.
Long John stamped himself as favourite for the $1 million race with a dominant two and a half lengths victory in the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 7 and lost no admirers when he ran home strongly to finish third in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield last Sunday.
Barrier one should not be a problem for the son of Street Cry and in the last thirty years the inside gate has been the most successful barrier in the race; with Anacheeva (2010), Starspangledbanner (2009), Redoute’s Choice (1999), Kenwood Melody (1998), Mahogany (1993) and Red Anchor (1984) all winning the stallion-making race from barrier one.
Long John’s Caulfield Guineas Prelude conqueror Éclair Big Bang also drew well in barrier four and is rated a good chance to improve his impressive record to four wins from only five race starts.
The Savabeel gelding started his career with two straight wins in Adelaide before making his Melbourne debut with a strong third behind Charlie Boy and Kiss A Rose in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) and recording his classy win in the Prelude.
Also backing up from the Caulfield Guineas Prelude are: Kiwi colt El Roca (barrier 2), Gerald Ryan-trained Charlie Boy (barrier 3), the consistent Weinholt (barrier 6) and the lightly-raced Marwood (barrier 7).
The other major Caulfield Guineas fancies did not fare as well in the barrier draw; with Dissident (barrier 13) and Prince Harada (barrier 12) both drawing towards the outside of the field.
Dissident is chasing his first victory this campaign, after finishing second in The Rosebud (1200m), The Run To The Rose (1200m) and Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m), and is attempting to replicate the feat of All Too Hard who won the 2012 edition of the Caulfield Guineas after finishing outside the placings in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m).
Prince Harada has not been seen at the races since he finished fifth in the Golden Rose but has been well backed after impressing jockey Damien Oliver with a sizzling piece of trackwork at Caulfield this morning.
The 2013 Caulfield Guineas final field is rounded out by: Divine Calling (barrier 1), Late Charge (barrier 9), Nite Rocker (barrier 14), Shamus Award (barrier 11) and Great Esteem (barrier 5).