Last season’s top two year old, the Peter Snowden trained Guelph, is the reason stable jockey Kerrin McEvoy is riding in Sydney and not Melbourne on the weekend.
Guelph is making her Spring Carnival debut in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick and McEvoy will continue his association after collecting two Group 1 prizes in the Autumn together.
The Exceed And Excel filly is having her first start since taking out the Randwick Group 1 double of the $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and the $400,000 Moet & Chandon 150th Champagne Stakes (1600m).
Snowden has five runners at the big Group 1 meeting at Flemington and will saddle up six at Randwick, but the decision for McEvoy to stay in Sydney was easy.
“Guelph has come back really well and I am quietly confident she will run well. Kerrin has been talking her up since she came back and she’s why he is staying here,” Snowden told the Sportsman.
Three weeks ago McEvoy was in the same predicament and chose to ride Safeguard in the Group 3 $135,000 Legacy 90th Anniversary Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield, giving up the ride on Golden Slipper runner up Sidestep who went around in the Group 3 $125,000 Smithfield RSL Club San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
On that occasion McEvoy proved to be correct, winning on Safeguard while Sidestep was desperately unlucky with Tommy Berry aboard and after being held up in the straight ran home to finish fourth.
Safeguard is in again tomorrow in the Group 2 $220,000 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington with Craig Williams picking up the ride.
Snowden is expecting a forward showing from Guelph as he prepares her for the Group 1 $400,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield later in the Spring Carnival.
“She is jumping a furlong every two weeks from now on so she needs to be forward to take advantage of this run,” Snowden said.
Guelph is the $2 favourite for Furious Stakes ahead of the Darren Smith trained Dream Forward and Gai Waterhouse’s Forever Loved, both at $8 with Romantic Moon the next in the betting at $10.
Dream Forward is facing a huge class rise after winning a Canterbury midweek two year old race in July while Forever Loved is also jumping up from midweek company after breaking her maiden at Canterbury on August 21.