Gear change for Caulfield Guineas favourite

Posted by Sports News First on 8/10/2017
Filled in: Racing

Royal Symphony will wear winkers in the $2 million Group One Caulfield Guineas as he bids to bounce back from his first defeat.

The Tony McEvoy-trained colt won his first four starts in style to earn Guineas favouritism but the three-year-old had his colours lowered in the Prelude (1400m) last Sunday.

Royal Symphony settled back in the field dominated by those on the pace, with Perast beating Summer Passage after they were the first two around the home turn.

Royal Symphony ran home for fourth, clocking 33.91sec for his last 600m, and McEvoy maintains faith in the colt heading to his major spring target on Saturday.

Stablemate Azazel will also run in the 2017 Caulfield Guineas who is coming off a last-start seventh to Showtime in the Group Two Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley last Friday week.

He said both colts had come through their final Guineas lead-ups in super order.

“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’s jockey Dwayne Dunn suggested after the Prelude the colt was likely to have a gear change, either winkers or blinkers.

McEvoy decided on winkers which do not restricted vision as much as blinkers.

“I’ve worked him in the winkers and I think they suit him,” McEvoy said.

Royal Symphony maintains his spot at the head of Caulfield Guineas odds at $4 with Godolphin colt Kementari at $4.80 ahead of star filly Catchy at $5.

Kementari powered through the line for third in the Prelude in his first Melbourne start.

Catchy finished strongly for third in the Thousand Guineas Prelude on the same day.

She is set to take on the colts and geldings rather than run against the fillies in Saturday’s $500,000 Thousand Guineas.

Catchy has already proven herself against the male horses by winning the Group One Blue Diamond as a two-year-old and the Group Two Danehill Stakes this spring.