David Hayes’ desire to be back at the top of the Melbourne training ranks was evident with twenty-one Lindsay Park three year olds among the 235 nominations for the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12.
Hayes’ theory of strength in numbers has been successful in rebuilding the family dynasty at his new training complex at Euroa and the results are starting to show with the stable producing fifty-one city winners last season.
Fastnet Rock colt Fast ’N’ Rocking heads Hayes’ Caulfield Guineas team and has already shown that he can handle the 1600m when fifth, beaten less than two lengths behind Peter Snowden’s top filly Guelph in the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon 150th Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in the Autumn.
Gai Waterhouse has nominated fourteen with two year old find Romantic Touch the pick of her team after winning the Group 1 $500,000 Patinack Farm J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Waterhouse also has great hope for her latest colt to hit the headlines, Bull Point as well as the unbeaten Pitcrew.
Melbourne’s premier trainer Peter Moody is also strong in numbers with recent Caulfield winner Monkstone and the Stratum colt Weinholt two of his best of the stable’s ten nominations.
Weinholt resumed from a winter spell last Saturday at Moonee Valley and will improve on his third to Clevadude and Cauthen, both of whom are also nominated for the Guineas.
Trainer Rick Hore-Lacy was relieved to see Clevadude back to his best after a disappointing tenth in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January.
“I never lost faith though,” Rick Hore-Lacy told AAP.
“He didn’t lose a leg or anything and he showed today he’s still the horse he was in the spring.”
New Zealand trainer Andrew Campbell blames greenness and immaturity for boom Kiwi colt Cauthen’s defeat and will push on towards the Guineas.
“It was only greenness that cost him,” Campbell told AAP.
“But he showed that his form in New Zealand stands up OK here.”
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has only nominated three, with Zoustar and Villanova proving in the winter that they are up to the class after finishing second and fourth to Romantic Touch in the JJ Atkins.
Peter Snowden’s ten entries are headed by Golden Slipper runner-up Sidestep while Victoria Derby bound Drago is the top pick from Anthony Cummings’ fourteen nominations.
Warwick Farm trainer Bjorn Baker might not have the numbers of the bigger Sydney stables, but he certainly has a live Caulfield Guineas chance with Fuerza.
The Snippetson colt is yet to win a race but showed his potential when a nose second to Guelph in the Champagne Stakes in the Autumn.