Trainer Anthony Cummings has confirmed that Surge Ahead will be positioned towards the front of the 2014 Rosehill Guineas field in the early stages of the Group 1 event at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Surge Ahead started his autumn preparation with fair performances in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 15 and the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at the same venue on March 1 before producing an improved effort when given the chance to lead in the Group 2 Alister Clarke Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley on March 14.
Cummings told Racing Ahead this morning that jockey Brenton Avdulla will be instructed to press forward on Surge Ahead from barrier ten in the Rosehill Guineas in an attempt to help the Danehill Dancer gelding settle during the running on the race.
“He will certainly go forward,” Cummings said.
“Whether he leads or not is a matter of what the others want to do.
“If something is desperate to lead that is fine they can do that; we don’t have to, but certainly that option is there for him because he does relax well in front.
“Having said that he probably didn’t relax that well last time at the Valley and another horse came up and challenged him and he just had too much on the toe having being dug up from a wide gate.
“There is going to be a bit of a challenge for Brenton there to get him to settle as well as he can, so that he can race on speed and show his best in the finish.
Surge Ahead is joined in the 2014 Rosehill Guineas field by stablemate Thunder Fantasy and bookmakers currently rate the Australian Guineas placegetter as Cummings’ best chance in the race; with Thunder Fantasy ($17) ahead of Surge Ahead ($31) in Rosehill Guineas betting markets.
Cummings admits that Thunder Fantasy is a proven performer at Group 1 level, but believes that Surge Ahead may be his best chance to win a second Rosehill Guineas after the three-year-old impressed him with a strong piece of work earlier in the week.
“I think Thunder Fantasy has raced at the higher level consistently and on facts and figures you would have to go his way, but I was really taken with Surge Ahead’s gallop on Tuesday,” Cummings said.
“I thought he really stretched out nicely on the ground and I think he is coming up to that sort of level now.
“This might be the time that he shows it and I really don’t think there is much between them.”