Kiwi three year old Sacred Elixir heads up the fourteen horse field of colts and geldings for the 2016 Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Tony Pike trained Sacred Elixir showed that he had lost none of his brilliant two year old form when he resumed for the new season with a come from behind win in the Group 3 $175,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on September 24.
Pike was in Brisbane during the Winter Carnival when Sacred Elixir produced an outstanding win against the two year olds to claim the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Caulfield Guineas Prelude winning jockey Damian Lane has retained the mount and a win in the Caulfield Guineas on Saturday could see Sacred Elixir take on the older horses at weight for age in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Another Kiwi to take on the locals is the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Saracino who was beaten a length when fifth to Sacred Elixir in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
At his previous start Saracino was an impressive winner in the Group 2 $200,000 Danehill Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight on September 10 with Damien Oliver to ride again.
Dwayne Dunn takes over from Christian Reith on the Team Hawkes trained Divine Prophet who is coming off a last start second to Impending in the Group 2 $200,000 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on September 24 which followed a fourth to Astern in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 10.
“He was brilliant first-up winning (the Up And Coming Stakes) then things didn’t go his way next time (in the Golden Rose when fourth). We can’t change that,” co-trainers Michael Hawkes told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The small field and no tempo worked against him last start [when runner-up to Impending in the Stan Fox Stakes] but I think Saturday he should get speed in a bigger field.
“We know he has a great turn of foot and we have just been waiting for him to get into a race with the right circumstances to show it. He is great and we couldn’t be happier with him.”
Divine Prophet will be taking on Impending (James McDonald) from the John O’Shea stable again in the Caulfield Guineas with Stan Fox Stakes third placegetter Good Standing (Hugh Bowman) also in the mix.
The Tony McEvoy trained Hey Doc has worked his way up through the classes and earned a start in the Caulfield Guineas after racking up a hat trick of wins with his last start victory in the Group 2 $200,000 Strathmore Community Bank Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
Luke Currie has ridden Hey Doc in two of his last three wins and gets the ride again in the Caulfield Guineas.