Trainer Mick Price is searching for his second Group 1 win in two weeks with a two pronged attack in the $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Price will saddled up Instinction and Proliferate to take on the Dubai bound Helmet after his filly Samaready took out the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
The Caulfield trainer is chasing his third Guineas win in five years and is finding it hard to split the pair especially after a strong gallop on Tuesday morning.
At the end of their 1200m gallop Instinction had the wood on his stablemate but Price was reluctant to choose between them on Saturday.
“Instinction has probably got a better turn of foot up to a mile, but I’m not underestimating Proliferate,” Price said.
“He is a beautiful colt and I really like him heading towards 2000 metres and beyond.”
“If it is on top of the ground, Proliferate is capable of running a really good sectional and he has plenty of stamina.”
Price and jockey Craig Newitt combined to take out the Blue Diamond last week also teamed up to win back to Australian Guineas in 2008 with Light Fantastic then followed that up in 2009 with Heart Of Dreams.
Newitt will continue his association with Instinction after scoring on him at his first run back from a break in the Listed $100,000 Sportingbet Zedative Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Australia Day and then dead heated for third behind That’s The One in the Group 3 $150,000 CS Hayes Stakes (1410m) at Flemington on February 18.
Jockey Michael Walker is the regular rider for Proliferate who has made a huge rise through the classes to be a $9 chance in the Guineas on Saturday just behind Instinction who is at $8 with Helmet still at the top of the list at $3.
The More Than Ready colt made a giant step from a Geelong maiden win and a restricted race at Seymour to take out the Listed $150,000 Myer Spring Fashion Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on Oaks Day last spring before a short spell.
Proliferate then produced a first class performance first up when beaten less than a length by Pied A Tierre in the Group 2 $180,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m).
Trainer Peter Snowden is confident Helmet will be on top of his game in the Guineas and will produce a first class performance before he leaves for Dubai where he runs in the $US1 million UAE Derby (1800m) at Meydan in Dubai World Cup Carnival on March 31.
“It would be good for me if he happens to run well on Saturday going over to where he’s got to go and facing the task he’s facing,” Snowden said.
“It gives you good confidence to know your horse is going well.”