Jockey Kerrin McEvoy has vowed to ride three year old Helmet more aggressively in the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The Peter Snowden trained Helmet had no luck when resuming in the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes (1410m) at Flemington on February 18 when McEvoy had trouble getting into the clear in the straight after positioning him in behind the leaders in the first half of the race.
“There is no doubt I will be more aggressive on Saturday, things didn’t work to plan last time and I think we will be in a better position to keep rolling this time around,” he said.
“Having that run under his belt is a big positive and I am really looking forward to riding his work (tomorrow) to get a good guide on how much he has improved since the first-up effort.”
Helmet is stepping up to 1600m on Saturday for his last run in Australia before heading off to Dubai with stable mate Sepoy for the $US1 million UAE Derby (1800m) at Meydan during the Dubai World Cup Carnival on March 31.
The Exceed And Excel colt has shown his liking for the 1600m with wins in the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes at Randwick and the Group 1 $1m The Age Caulfield Guineas at Caulfield in the Spring.
In those two races McEvoy was able to dictate the pace from up front and he is thinking that he will adopt similar tactics on Helmet on Saturday.
Sepoy who finished fifth in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield last Saturday is heading to Dubai with Helmet and his main target is the $US2 million Golden Shaheen (1200m).
The Elusive Quality colt was sent out the $3.20 favourite and after hitting the front in the straight struggled with the 58kgs to wind a length behind outsider Woorim who finished over the top of the smart field.
“I was very pleased with his effort, we had to do plenty of work at the front of the field and he was still there fighting right to the line carrying the big weight,” McEvoy said. “The result didn’t go our way but he was hardly disappointing.”
Helmet still remains at the top of the betting for the Australian Guineas’ betting at $2.90 ahead of the Robert Smerdon trained filly Mosheen who is at $6.
Smerdon is not afraid of taking on the colts and geldings in the Guineas with his Oaks winner and is very happy with her two runs back from a spell.
“She comfortably beat That’s The One by almost two lengths over 1200m first-up in the Manfred Stakes at Caulfield, and he came out and comfortably won the Hayes Stakes over 1410m at Flemington,” he said.
“She was beaten only a short half head to Shopaholic in the Vanity Stakes.”
Shopaholic also made the form look good when she remained unbeaten from three runs this campaign taking out the Group 2 $180,000 D’Urban Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.