Trainer Peter Snowden has revealed that Guelph will have her next race start in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22, rather than the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m).
Big things were expected of Guelph heading into the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but the classy filly has failed to fire in her two race starts this campaign; finishing sixth in the Group 2 Light Finger Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 22 and eighth in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm this weekend.
Guelph was caught wide in the early stages of the Surround Stakes, but was unable to make any ground when asked for an extra effort by jockey Kerrin McEvoy and Snowden admitted that he was expecting a better effort from the four-time Group 1 winner.
“For her that wouldn’t have been too big an ask, but it was for her yesterday,” Snowden told TVN
“I can’t find a thing physically wrong with her; she had a bit of a blow, but you’d expect that.
“The racecourse vet found nothing wrong with her and I brought her home and my vet went over her and we couldn’t find anything wrong.
“You could make excuses, but a filly of that class should have run better.”
Snowden was always skeptical of running Guelph in the Coolmore Classic, because he was worried that the daughter of Exceed And Excel would not be suited by the handicap conditions of the race, and he believes that she is not in good enough from to warrant a tilt at the Group 1 event.
“She’s not in good form so I’m likely to take the easier option and go to the Phar Lap with her,” Snowden said.
Guelph has also been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m), Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during The Championships, but will need to improve significantly to be a chance of contesting any of the Group 1 events.
The talented three-year-old will be advantaged by the set weights conditions of the Phar Lap Stakes, but the Darley operation has had little success in the race; missing the placings with Albrecht (2013), Free Wheeling (2012), Bulbars (2011), Sigma (2010) and Camarilla (2008).