2013 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) contenders Clevadude and Cauthen are set to do battle this Saturday with both horses nominated for the Three-Year-Olds Colts and Geldings Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley.
Lightly-raced New Zealand colt Cauthen will have his first run in Australia and just the second start of his career this Saturday and trainer Andrew Campbell is hopeful that the son of Darci Brahma can do enough to force his way into the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 17.
Campbell has outlined the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) as the ultimate spring goal for Cauthen but he will need to perform well in his lead-up races in Australia to qualify for the field.
The rising three-year-old earned himself the trip to Australia with a brilliant performance in the Goldpine Maiden (1200m) at Te Rapa on debut, where he scored a runaway eight and a half lengths victory.
Clevadude will return to the races for the first time since his disappointing fourteenth place finish in the Magic Millions Two-Year-Olds Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast at the start of the year.
The Bel Esprit gelding went into the race as one of the favourites, after impressive wins at Cranbourne and in the Sportingbet Plate (1000m) at Moonee Valley, but drew a wide barrier for the $2 million race and was never able to get into the contest.
Clevadude has been nominated to resume twice in the past month but was withdrawn from the Procal Dairies Handicap (1000m) and the Download The Sportingbet App Handicap (1200m).
Trainer Rick Hore-Lacy has set the rising three-year-old for an ambitious spring campaign with the Caulfield Guineas and Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on his agenda.
Classy Stratum colt Weinholt and debut winner Red Samurai have also been included in the nominations.