Godolphin will have talented colts Telperion and Souchez in the 2016 Skyline Stakes field and jockey James McDonald has made the surprising decision to stick with Telperion in the Group 2 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Telperion has done nothing wrong during his racing career to date and he showed an impressive turn-of-foot to win the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Royal Randwick on February 13, but there has been a lot of hype surrounding the gifted Souchez, who took out the Schweppes Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on December 19.
McDonald told Sky Racing HQ that he has a very high opinion of both horses, but he was thrilled with the feel he received from Telperion in the Lonhro Plate and he believes that the son of Lonhro can go to another level in the 2016 Skyline Stakes.
“He gave me a really good feel last start when he won,” McDonald said.
“He is a quality colt and he oozes a lot of talent.
“I feel that he is a horse that can go through the grades really well.
“He couldn’t have been even more impressive last start and he did the job really well.
“He is going to have to take another step, especially to beat the stablemate because he is a very smart horse, but I have gone the one I know.
“Hopefully he will prove me right.”
Telperion took up the running before fading late when he made his racing debut in The Viridian Lightbridge Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on October 31, but he showed an impressive ability to relax in the early stages before finishing off strongly in the Lonhro Plate.
McDonald believes it is very clear that Telperion is a better horse when ridden off the speed and he confirmed that he will not change these tactics in the Skyline Stakes this weekend.
“He led in his first start and just got taken on and collapsed in the last 100,” McDonald said.
“Everything since then we have been riding him quiet and he seems to have grown a leg.
“He is a big boy and he looks like a three-year-old racing two-year-olds.
“I am sure he will be winning a big race as either a late two-year-old or an early three-year-old.”
The 2016 Skyline Stakes field will be released this afternoon and Telperion is set to take on the likes of Souchez, Good Standing, Revolving Door, Lionhearted as well as a host of debutants in the $175,000 race.