Top Melbourne jockey Craig Williams has picked up the ride on Safeguard in next week’s Group 2 $220,000 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington, but will only be keeping the saddle warm for rival Kerrin McEvoy.
Safeguard, a winner from his only three race starts, kept his unbeaten record intact with McEvoy aboard with a narrow victory over Fast ‘N’ Rocking in the Group 3 $135,000 Legacy 90th Anniversary Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 17.
But McEvoy will be required to ride in Sydney next weekend when Darley’s Group 1 winning filly Guelph makes her Spring Carnival debut in the Group 2 $175,000 Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
The Peter Snowden trained Safeguard was lucky to win the Vain with runner up Fast ‘N’ Rocking running into several traffic jams in the straight before going down by a nose to the Exceed And Excel colt.
Snowden’s Melbourne foreman Paul Snowden has reported that Safeguard has pulled up well and that Williams will take over the reins in the Danehill Stakes.
“We had a meeting, that was our first option and he was available to ride him,” Paul Snowden told AAP.
Darley Australia’s head trainer Peter Snowden rated Safeguard among his top two year olds last season but ran out of time to have him ready for the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on April 6 but was able to prepare him for a win in the Group 3 $125,000 Ticketek Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick the following week.
A Spring Carnival program was then mapped out with Safeguard’s main goal being the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 2.
Guelph proved herself to be one of the Sydney Autumn Carnival stars with back to back Group 1 wins in the $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon 150th Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
The Exceed And Excel filly has a busy Spring ahead with Group 1 races pencilled in for both Sydney and Melbourne Carnivals.
The Group 1 $400,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on October 5 is Guelph’s main Sydney mission before heading south for the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 16.
“We have a good program for her this time through and hopefully things go to plan and we get to hit all those targets,” Peter Snowden told RSN.
“The main aim is the Flight Stakes here in Sydney and hopefully, if all goes well, we will get to Melbourne and run in the Thousand Guineas after that.”