Darley Racing Manager Jason Walsh has revealed that the lightly-raced Meursault will be set for the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Meursault was given four barrier trials before making his racing debut with a dominant three lengths victory over Farolitos and Rhodin Drive in the Evergreen Turf Claret Stakes (1300m) at Hawkesbury on May 3 and was set to make his Group 1 debut in the J.J. Atkins (1600m) during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, but the Darley team opted to send the Medaglia D’Oro colt to the spelling paddock in order to save him for a spring campaign.
“He had quite a few trials and he was very raw and learning,” Walsh told Racing Ahead.
“We had intentions to take him to Brisbane for the J.J. Atkins, but the way that he won at Hawkesbury, we thought that he had so much improvement left in him and to win as decisively as he did suggests that he may be that topnotch horse, so we elected to bypass Brisbane and aim him at the Caulfield Guineas.
“He still has a bit to learn on the way there, but there is no doubt that he has a lot of raw talent.”
Darley also have Ghibellines and Kumaon heading towards the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Walsh said that trainer John O’Shea will do his best to keep Meursault away from his stablemates in the early stages of his spring campaign.
Meursault is set to resume in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and is also a chance of contesting the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosheill Gardens on September 13 before heading to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 28 and the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
Darley are chasing their third win in the Caulfield Guineas after taking out the 2011 edition of the race with Helmet and last year’s race with Long John.
Meursault is currently on the fifth line of 2014 Caulfield Guineas betting market at a quote of $12; with J.J. Atkins Stakes winner Almalad ($8.50) a narrow favourite from Mark Kavanagh-trained Chivalry ($11), the consistent Looks Like The Cat ($11) and Chris Waller-trained Brazen Beau ($12).