Trainer Andrew Campbell has confirmed that exciting Kiwi colt Cauthen will run in the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday, rather than the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m).
Cauthen was included in the nominations for both races but Campbell and connections decided to bypass the Danehill Stakes in order to maintain the services of rising jockey James McDonald who has ridden the colt in both his Australian starts.
“James is committed to another horse in the 1200 metre race (Danehill Stakes) so we will run in the Henry Bucks,” Campbell told Racing Ahead.
“We had a good think about it last night but we are more than happy to stick with James.
“He knows the horse and we like the bloke.”
Cauthen recorded his first victory in Australia in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday after he finished an unlucky second behind Clevadude in his Australian racing debut in the Sweeney Can Do Agents Handicap (1000m) on the opening weekend of the 2012/2013 racing season.
Campbell said that the son of Darci Brahma has come out of his second-up run in outstanding condition and believes that the three-year-old has plenty of improvement in front of him leading up to his major 2013 Spring Racing Carnival target – the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
“He has come through the run enormous, a lot better than his first run,” Campbell said.
“He galloped up this morning and it was probably his best gallop since he arrived in Australia so we are really happy.
“He is still a big burly horse and we don’t want him peaking now.
“We have three weeks before the Prelude so we have time to freshen him up before that and he will be bang on for the Guineas.”
Although he performed well in his two performances at Moonee Valley, Cauthen never appeared to handle the tight-turning circuit and Campbell expects him to relish the long Flemington straight.
“We went to Moonee Valley because that is the way the plan went,” he said.
“I am really excited and looking forward to seeing him on a roomier and big open track.”
The Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes is set to be a key form race for the Caulfield Guineas, with several contenders including Darley colt Long John and Peter Moody-trained Monkstone expected to take part.