Talented rider James McDonald has been handed the task of trying to qualify boom Kiwi two year old Cauthen for the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12.
The Andrew Campbell trained youngster showed that he is an above average galloper with a eight and a half length debut win at Te Rapa but the main problem for the Opaki trainer is earning enough prizemoney to be guaranteed a start in the $1 million race for the three year olds.
Cauthen has been nominated for Saturday’s Super VOBIS Three-Year-Old C&G Benchmark 78 Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley and Campbell would be pleased to add the winner’s cheque of $48,000 to the $3992 that the Darci Brahma colt has already earned.
McDonald has just returned to his Sydney base after stopping over in New Zealand on his way back from a two months riding stint in Great Britain and Singapore and will ride at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
He will then ride at Moonee Valley on Saturday where he will get his first feel of the exciting colt.
“James confirmed the ride last Sunday morning,” Campbell told The Informant.
“I had originally thought about starting him in the Vain Stakes, but have decided to bypass that and kick off in this one then go back to Moonee Valley on the 24th. Hopefully he can get enough stakemoney to get a start in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
“He’s got to prove himself over here. If he’s good enough the aim is the Group One Caulfield Guineas. It’s a dream and we’re living it.”
McDonald is very keen to get back into the Australian racing scene after riding overseas and is excited about testing Cauthen for the big Spring races.
“He looks like he could be something out of the box so really looking forward to getting on his back,” McDonald told TVN.
“I haven’t had anything to do with him but I’ve got a fair bit to do with the owners, they have been good to me and I have a strong connection with them.
“Saturday will tell us a little more, he looks an exciting prospect for those bigger races but we will have to wait and see how he comes up.”
“I rode in England and got a few winners, it was amazing, had a lot of fun and it was a good experience.”
“But I’m happy to be back in Sydney, I’ll keep my head down here for a while and we will see how we go, no more shipping around for a while anyway.”
McDonald is also looking forward to reuniting with Australian Derby winner It’s A Dundeel when he resumes in the Spring as he heads towards the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.