Darley Australia capped off a great day’s racing at Caulfield with Long John scoring a decisive win in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) today.
Earlier in the day trainer Peter Snowden was able watch on TV his three year old Complacent win the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick as he was preparing Long John for his Group 1 assignment in Melbourne.
Snowden had set Long John for the Caulfield Guineas at the beginning of the Spring and the Street Cry three year has delivered the perfect result.
Added by a top class ride from Kerrin McEvoy, Long John was able to hold off the strong challenge of the Gai Waterhouse trained Divine Calling who looked likely to overhaul the winner in the final one hundred metres.
McEvoy was able to settle Long John fifth on the fence after jumping from the inside gate and then was able to move one off at the 800m and start his move forward.
McEvoy then didn’t waste any time and let the three year old stride to the lead at the top of straight and he was able to dig deep in the run to the run.
“A great day, very satisfying. He was given the gun run, just a perfect ride everywhere we wanted to be in our pre-race map,” Snowden said.
“He was there, kicked strong, he had to rally late, he had to dig deep actually. That’s one thing Stevie Arnold always said that when the horse is challenged he is able to keep lifting and he did that today.”
Snowden was also quick to praise his son Paul, who runs the Melbourne stable for preparing Long John in immaculate order.
“Paul’s done a tremendous job with him and full credit goes to him.”
McEvoy and Snowden teamed up with Helmet to win the Caulfield Guineas two years ago before going to the Cox Plate as favourite, but could only manage to finish eighth to Pinker Pinker.
Snowden hasn’t ruled out a start in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in two weeks but also said that the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington the following week could be an option.
“I thought Helmet was the horse that could do it, it brought him undone, so I will think long and hard about that,” Snowden said referring to a Cox Plate start.
“The Derby is a possibility. I really think a horse like this, if he ran at Moonee Valley and then backed up for the Derby, for this horse it would be a perfect preparation.”
Long John was always at the head of the betting and firmed to run the $3.80 before scoring by half a length from Divine Calling ($13) with third placegetter Shamus Award ($21) another two lengths away in third spot.