Chivalry stamped himself as one of the favourites for the 2014 Caulfield Guineas with a fast-finishing victory in the McNeil Stakes at Caulfield this afternoon.
Chivalry was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey Glen Boss in the early stages of the race and the leading Melbourne hoop waited patiently on the Street Cry colt, while Cornrow and Boomwaa set the pace.
Boss unleashed Chivalry down the outside of the field in the final 250 metres and the three-year-old made up plenty of ground late to score a narrow win from Nordic Empire and Awesome Rock.
Trainer Mark Kavanagh has always had a big wrap on Chivalry, who finished a credible eighth in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield as a two-year-old, and was delighted with the way that the talented colt had started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
Kavanagh has had a slow start to the 2014/2015 racing season and he made it clear after the race that he was not getting ahead of himself, but the Group 1 winning trainer is hoping that the win of Chivalry may help turn around his fortunes.
“One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but he isn’t a bad horse,” Kavanagh said after the race.
“He has gone ahead, when he was two he had it stamped on him that he was going to be a good three-year-old and he has certainly had the time and he did the job today.
“He likes to play a bit, but he is really quite a gentleman and is a lovely horse.”
Chivalry has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), but Kavanagh believes that the stallion making event at Caulfield on October 11 is the most likely target for the McNeil Stakes winner.
“We will be heading towards that way,” Kavanagh said of the Caulfield Guineas.
“With his style of racing he looks to be suitable for that sort of race and the long distances.
“I think that he is pretty good and he was obviously better than any of those guys today.
“We have to wait and see what else is around and what comes around, but certainly he was pretty impressive today.
“I am laughing.”
Kavanagh is chasing his second win in the Caulfield Guineas after taking out the Group 1 event with Whobegotyou in 2008.