Godolphin Racing Manager Jason Walsh believes that there will be no excuses if Generalife is unable to return to winning form in the 2014 Festival Stakes at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Generalife stamped himself as a sprinter to watch when he took out both the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 5 and the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on July 19, but has been unable to record a race win in four race starts this preparation.
The Lonhro gelding returned to racing with a most unlucky fourth in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 before he hit the line strongly in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 18.
Generalife finished a close third behind Hucklebuck and Alma’s Fury in the Group 3 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and looked like the winner in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on November 15, but was unable to get past Fast ‘N’ Rocking.
Walsh said that Generalife has been unlucky not to record a race win this campaign and he is confident that the five-year-old can maintain his form in the 2014 Festival Stakes and will be given every possible chance in the Listed event.
“He has had a great preparation and he was desperately unlucky at Sandown,” Walsh said.
“If he can retain that form, and I see no reason why he can’t, he will be a leading player there tomorrow and he should get a much deserved win for the prep.
“He is a horse that switching him off is important and he has a nice turn-of-foot when presented.
“He won a couple of Listed races at the trip at Rosehill during the winter and he gets those conditions again tomorrow and he is supremely fit.
“There will be no excuses.”
Generalife will be returning to Rosehill Gardens for the first time since he took out the Winter Stakes in July and he has an excellent record of three wins and a placing from his five race starts at the venue.
Generalife opened as a narrow favourite in 2014 Festival Stakes odds at a quote of $4.60, but has drifted out to $4.80, while there has been an avalanche of support for Queensland-trained galloper Sir Moments who has been backed into $4.40.