Trainer Murray Baker has revealed that Atlante will be scratched from the 2014 Rosehill Guineas if the Rosehill Gardens track is rated in the heavy range on Saturday.
Atlante had his second race start on a heavy track at Hastings in New Zealand and finished at the tail of the field and clearly did not appreciate the slow ground when he made his Australian racing debut in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 1.
Baker remains hopeful that the Sydney weather will clear up in the next 48 hours, but said that he will seriously consider saving Atlante for another race if the rain continues to fall on the Rosehill track.
“He really needs a good, firm track,” Baker told Racing Ahead this morning.
“It all depends on how bad the track is, but he may be a doubtful starter if it gets too bad on Saturday.”
While Baker is clearly concerned about the condition of the Rosehill Gardens track, he is happy with the condition of Atlante and the way that he pulled up from his sixth place finish behind Dissident in the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15.
Baker said that he was relatively happy with the effort of Atlante in the Royal Randwick Guineas, but confirmed that he will put blinkers back on the son of Fastnet Rock for the first time since he won the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park on November 9.
“We are very happy with him,” Baker said.
“Unfortunately he was on and off the bridle all the time in the Randwick Guineas, so we have put the blinkers back on to try and get him to focus.
“He had raced well in New Zealand with the blinkers on when he won the Group 1, so we will put them back on and see how we go.
“We were happy with that and he had his chance.”
Atlante has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) that will be run at Royal Randwick during The Championships, but Baker will not decide on the path that the three-year-old will follow until after this weekend.
If Atlante is scratched from the 2014 Rosehill Guineas he will run in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 and could back-up in the Australian Derby a week later if he shows that he is capable of staying the trip.
“He will run in the Tulloch, but I just hope that the weather clears up,” Baker said.
“He is in the Derby, but is yet to be seen whether he stays 2000.
“If he doesn’t we can switch him back to a mile for a race like the Carbine Stakes.”
Baker is chasing his second straight win in the Rosehill Guineas after taking out the 2013 edition of the race with It’s A Dundeel.