One time Caulfield Guineas favourite Chivalry will kick off his Australian Guineas campaign in an open three year old race at Sandown on Saturday.
Trainer Mark Kavanagh has kept Chivalry on the fresh side for his engagement in the $80,000 William Hill Plate over 1300m and the top Flemington trainer is expecting a bold first up effort.
“His best runs have been fresh, his trial was excellent and I have kept him fresher than normal,” Kavanagh told Racing Network.
“Last prep he was a bit all over the place. He was good early then there were excuses each time he seemed to go around.”
Chivalry hasn’t raced since finishing fifth to Moonovermanhattan in the Group 2 $200,000 Dilmah Exceptional Teas Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 during last year’s Melbourne Spring Carnival.
And even though he was only beaten just over two lengths over the 2040m at Moonee Valley, Kavanagh believes that 1600m is the furthest the Street Cry colt wants to run.
Kavanagh has nominated Chivalry for the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7 and will give him his next lead up run in the Group 3 $150,000 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.
Damien Lane takes over the reins from regular rider Glen Boss and the in-form jockey got a good feel of Chivalry in an 800m Flemington jump out last Friday and was impressed with the three year old.
“It was good to get a feel of him for this race,” Lane said.
“It’s a hot race with all the good ones coming back into work now and it’s starting to really heat up.”
Chivalry was able to score a first up win at the start of his three year old season in the 2014 Spring Carnival when he came from the tail of the field to beat Nordic Empire and Awesome Rock in the Group 3 $150,000 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
At his next start Chivalry came from well back in the field again to be beaten a head when second to Merion in the Listed $120,000 Living Legends Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 13 before he finished sixth to Moonovermanhattan in the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley two weeks later.
Then in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield Chivalry was always near the near the tail of the field and never threatened at any stage before finishing three and half lengths fifth to the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Shooting To Win.
In early betting for the William Hill Plate, Ladbrokes.com.au have Chivalry marked at $6.50 behind the Team Hawkes trained Onerous at $3.20, Hauraki from the Godolphin stable at $4 and Darren Weir’s Profit Share at $6.