The connections of all three main contenders in this weekend’s Caulfield Guineas say they are unfazed by the barrier draw despite all coming up with very different marbles.
In fact if the markets suggest confidence it appears as if each of them has been helped by their respective alleys.
Helmet has gate eight of eight for the 1600m contest with Smart Missile in two and Manawanui alongside in three.
Kerrin McEvoy is the man responsible for getting Helmet across the line and he says plenty rests on how well he jumps so he can take up a position and settle the horse.
“I haven’t got a set plan, but I do have to ride my horse to get the trip,” he said.
“That said, I haven’t got an issue with him getting (running out) the mile at all.”
It will be a similar story for Corey Brown on Smart Missile with trainer Anthony Cummings desperate to have the horse settle closer to the pace.
Brown knows this and from alley two he should get every chance to do so.
“I’d expect him to take a forward position, just stalking Helmet and Manawanui,” Brown said.
Smart Missile has proved he’s capable of getting out well from the gates after settling behind Black Caviar in a short jumpout at Caulfield last week.
Cummings said the reason for the jumpout so shortly after he ran in the Rupert Clarke Stakes was because he wanted to make sure Brown knew he had the ability to hold a spot.
“We wanted to make sure Corey came into this race confident what he’d do out of the gates.
“He did exactly what he was asked and jumped cleanly. Black Caviar was as good a sign as you could get that he can be positive early.”
He says despite not winning at his last two starts his horse has been unlucky rather than outclassed and he’s really hoping for a change of fortunes on Saturday.
“At this level you can’t afford to make any mistakes,” he said.
For Manawanui the question isn’t his early pace it’s how well he’ll handle the Caulfield circuit but according to jockey Glyn Schofield so far so good.
“It was a nice hitout and he went around with no problems at all,” Schofield said after an 800m gallop.
“He gave me no indications he’ll have a problem with the track. Obviously race conditions will tell but I’m very happy with him.”