Trainer David Vandyke can see why the Group 1 $400,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday has only attracted a handful of runners to take on dual Group one winner Guelph.
The Australian Turf Club was forced to extend nominations for the Sydney Spring Carnival showpiece Group 1 for the three year olds fillies until 11am on Wednesday with only seven fillies entered.
Vandyke will send his filly Arabian Gold around but thinks only a miracle can she her turning the tables on the Peter Snowden trained Guelph after running a clear second to her in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on September 21.
“I can understand why horses would be avoiding clashing with Guelph because she is certainly the standout filly this year,” Vandyke told AAP.
“But from the owners’ perspective I think it would be a good result to run second or third in a Flight Stakes with it being a Group One.”
Arabian Gold was a winner four times during her two year old season but was no match for Guelph when resuming in the Tea Rose Stakes last Saturday week.
And even though she ran a creditable second to the Dual Group 1 winner, he has acknowledged that Guelph is the superior filly over this distance.
Guelph was crowned the champion two year old for last season after Group 1 wins in the $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and the $400,000 Moet & Chandon 150th Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
The Darley owned filly was a surprise beaten favourite first up in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on September 7 when a nose second to Bound For Earth.
But the Exceed And Excel filly was able to bounce back to her best over the 1400m of the Tea Rose to beat Arabian Gold with Bound For Earth finishing in third spot.
“Her best form is when she gets to seven furlongs or a mile, we seen that last time as a two year old. She’s a good filly and she showed that today,” Snowden said after the Tea Rose win.
“The extra motor kicks in when she gets past that 1200m and up to a mile she’s going to be very hard to beat.”
After the Flight Stakes on Saturday, Guelph will head to Melbourne to run in the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 16 for which she is already a short price favourite.