Trainer Peter Snowden is confident that classy filly Guelph can return to her best form when she contests the 2014 Phar Lap Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Guelph was the star filly of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, winning both the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m), but has failed to fire since returning to the races after a stint in the spelling paddock.
The daughter of Exceed And Excel had no luck in the Group 2 Light Finger Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 22 and was disappointing when she failed to show her usual acceleration in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
Snowden admits that he has been disappointed with the form of Guelph, but told TVN that he can find nothing physically wrong with the three-year-old and hopes that she can return to her best in the Phar Lap Stakes on Saturday.
“I’m not making any excuses for her two runs, things haven’t quite worked out for her, but she is very capable of turning that completely around tomorrow,” Snowden said.
“I’m very happy with the horse and she could come out and turn her form right around tomorrow.”
The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 19 was the original 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival target for Guelph, but the filly has also been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m).
Snowden said that he is yet to decide which race Guelph will contest during The Championship and said that he will wait until he sees how the four-time Group 1 winner performs at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.
“I just want to get tomorrow out of the way first before we make any decisions moving forward,” Snowden said.
Snowden is chasing his first win in the Phar Lap Stakes after previously missing the placings with Albrecht (fourth behind Toydini in 2013), Free Wheeling (fourth behind Colorado Claire in 2012), Bullbars (sixth behind Blackie in 2011), Sigma (seventh behind Tickets in 2010) and Camarilla (sixth behind Acey Ducey in 2008).
Guelph is currently a narrow favourite in Phar Lap Stakes betting markets, at odds of $3.80, from Randwick Guineas scratching Woodbine ($4.40) and Team Hawkes-trained Traitor ($5).