Champion filly Guelph will not contest the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley next Saturday and will be sent to the spelling paddock immediately.
There had been a great deal of speculation in recent weeks over whether Guelph would attempt to become the first filly to win the Cox Plate since Surround in 1976 but trainer Peter Snowden made it known after the daughter of Exceed And Excel’s victory in the yesterday’s Group 1 Thousand Guineas(1600m) that his preferred option was to spell the three-year-old.
Snowden discussed all possible options with Darley representatives overnight, with the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day another option, and was able to convince founder Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his team that a spell was the best option for the four-time Group 1 winner.
The leading trainer has always said that Guelph would return ever better in the autumn and he confirmed after her victory yesterday that she would be set for the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens in March and the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick in April.
Guelph made her racing debut just over a year ago when she finished second behind Brilliant Bisc in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) but has already won four Group 1 races and put together a fantastic racing resume.
She won her first two race starts in the autumn but produced the worst run of her career to date in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) before finishing an unlucky fourth behind Overreach in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m).
The striking filly relished the step-up in distance and finished her juvenile campaign with back-to-back wins in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), which was enough to see her named Champion Two-Year-Old at the National Awards Ceremony held in Melbourne last month.
Guelph started her 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a shock defat to Bound For Earth in the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1200m) but quickly returned to her winning ways; taking out the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) before her Thousand Guineas victory.
The Darley team will be represented in the Cox Plate by Caulfield Guineas winner Long John.