Kumaon is available at 2014 Caulfield Guineas odds of $21, but Godolphin Racing Manager Jason Walsh is hoping that the promising colt can be competitive in the Group 1 event – as long as he jumps cleanly from the barriers.
Kumaon missed the start in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13 and he cost himself a chance at victory when he was slow out of the gates before running home strongly in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 26.
Walsh told Racing Ahead this morning that trainer John O’Shea has done everything possible to make sure that Kumaon is able to jump out of the gates cleanly in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and he is confident that the Lonhro colt is going into the race in outstanding condition.
“It has been a slight cause for concern for us,” Walsh said.
“He was obviously slow out in the Stutt and he has been slow out in the early part of his career as well.
“We are very mindful of that tomorrow and he had a brief run through the gates yesterday morning just to sharpen him up a bit.
“Kerrin will be on his game and hopefully he can settle midfield.
“We can’t fault him, he is in great order and primed to run to his best.”
While Walsh is hopeful that Kumaon can jump cleanly in the Caulfield Guineas, he does not expect jockey Kerrin McEvoy to take up a forward position in the early stages of the Group 1 event at Caulfield tomorrow.
Walsh believes that the expected quick early tempo in the Caulfield Guineas will give Kumaon the chance to work home strongly in the final stages of the race and he is confident that the step back up to a mile will not be an issue for the colt.
“I don’t that he is a horse that has enough tactical speed in any case to settle right on the speed, but we definitely don’t want to be last,” Walsh said.
“I think that a mile and maybe even a mile and a quarter is right up his alley.
“Kerrin feels that, if anything, he may even be looking for a mile and a quarter already, but obviously there is a lot of speed engaged tomorrow and it looks to be a really genuinely run mile, which will certainly play into our hands.”
Godolphin is chasing their second straight win in the Caulfield Guineas after winning the 2013 edition of the race with Long John.
The Caulfield Guineas odds of Rich Enuff continue to shorten and he is now into a quote of $2.20 to record a maiden win at Group 1 level.