Gerald Ryan-trained Charlie Boy will run in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on Sunday rather than the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).
Charlie Boy stamped himself as a leading contender for the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) with his strong victory in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 7 and was so impressive that Ryan considered stepping the Myboycharlie colt up to open Group 1 level for the first time.
Ryan decided to take the easier option yesterday afternoon and test the credentials of Charlie Boy against a number of leading colts in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
David Hayes-trained Fast ‘N’ Rocking will return to Melbourne racing after he finished tenth in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight ago.
The Fastnet Rock colt started the $1 million Group 1 event as one of the favourites, after his two lengths victory in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m), but failed to fire when asked for an extra effort in the final stages of the race.
Darley trainer Peter Snowden won the 2012 edition of the Caulfield Guineas Prelude with Epaulette and will have the highly-rated Long John in this year’s race.
The Street Cry gelding started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a third place finish behind Cauthen in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on August 24 but turned the tables on the classy Kiwi colt in the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
Also backing up from the Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes is Peter Moody-trained Weinholt who has raced well without winning this preparation.
The Stratum colt over raced when finished third in the Sweeney Can Do Agents Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley on August 3 and received no luck when fourth in the McKenzie Stakes before producing a tough effort in the Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes.
The most interesting runner in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude field is New Zealand-trained El Roca who has impressed with two comfortable victories since making his debut in September.
The Fastnet Rock colt faces a serious rise in competition on Sunday but trainer Trent Busuttin has had success bringing three-year-olds to Australia, winning the 2011 Victoria Derby (2400m) with Sangster.
Group 1 winner Romantic Touch, Danehill Stakes placegetter Éclair Big Bang and the Mick Price-trained duo of Worth A Ransom and Longma were also included in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude final field.