Easing favourite Royal Symphony will wear a set of winkers for the first time in the Group 1 $2m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Royal Symphony stills sit at the top of the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas market order at $4 with Ladbrokes.com.au even though he suffered his first defeat from five outings when a last start fourth to Perast in the Group 3 $175,000 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on October 1.
Regular rider Dwayne Dunn settled Royal Symphony in his customary position in the second half of the field but the Domesday colt was unable to pick up the front runners in the dash to the line.
Trainer Tony McEvoy was disappointed at first but after seeing that the colt clocked a slick 33.91 second for his final 600m, he is still giving him a strong chance in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas.
“I’ve worked him in the winkers and I think they suit him,” McEvoy told AAP.
Stablemate Azazel also missed a place last start when seventh to Showtime in the Group 2 $200,000 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on September 29 but McEvoy is not ruling out his chances in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas.
“Both were beaten last start but I think Royal Symphony almost ran a career-best race,” McEvoy said.
“And Azazel ran a solid race.
“I think they are very solid chances in this big race.”
Royal Symphony was the winner of his first four race starts and had to overcome plenty of obstacles two starts back to win the Listed $120,000 Pin & Win Plate (1400m) at Flemington on September 16.
The Lindsay Park trained filly Catchy and Godolphin’s Kementari share the second line of betting for the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas at $5.50 ahead of the Kiwi colt Summer Passage at $9 and Caulfield Guineas Prelude winner Perast at $10.
Early market order for 2017 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Royal Symphony, $5.50 Catchy, Kementari, $8 Summer Passage, $10 Perast, $11 Gold Standard, $17 Levendi, $21 Showtime, $26 Eclair Sunshine, Salsamor, Villermont, $34 Holy Snow, Sircconi, 41 or better the rest.