Guelph completes G1 double

| October 18, 2013
Guelph wins her 4th G1, in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield

Guelph wins her 4th G1, in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield

Guelph became the first filly since 1996 to complete the Flight Stakes-Thousand Guineas double with an all-the-way victory in the Group I Thousand Guineas at Caulfield, the 1600m fillies feature.

Snowden said a final decision on a Cox Plate start would be made by owner Sheikh Mohammed in the next few days.

If Guelph does go there she will join stablemate and Caulfield Guineas winner Long John in the race.

“It’s not my call alone. It’s a team decision,” Snowden said.

“I’ve made it known all along I’d like to stop with her now but the boys will have a talk and we’ll talk to the boss and see what he thinks.

“We’ll come up with the right decision I hope.”

Guelph was sent out a $1.45 favourite and jockey Kerrin McEvoy took the race by the scruff of the neck from the outset, bouncing to the front where the filly dictated terms.

She kicked around the home turn and when May’s Dream ($7.50) challenged her early in the straight, Guelph found another gear to again surge clear and score by 1-3/4 lengths with 2-1/2 lengths to Gregers ($10) third.

Guelph’s second Group I of the season and her fourth overall continued a golden period for Darley’s three-year-olds in Group I races.

Long John won the Caulfield Guineas on Saturday and Complacent collected the Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney on the same day.

McEvoy became the first jockey since 2002 to win the Guineas double at Caulfield in the same season while Snowden is the first trainer since Bart Cummings in 1996 to achieve the feat.

Snowden was effusive in his praise for Guelph who he rates alongside Forensics as the best filly he has trained.

And he believes the best of her will be seen next autumn.

“She’s a very, very good filly and she’s got a great attitude to go with it,” he said.

“She’s very tradesman-like. When the second horse came to her she kicked and if anything else came at her she would have kicked again. She’s just got that quality that she’ll keep finding.”

Snowden said Darley’s recent run of success had been two months in the planning.

“When we were going through a quiet time we kept saying to ourselves as a team, ‘we know what we’ve got and we’ve just got to hope they come up as well as we think they will’. And they did,” he said.

“It’s good when a plan comes off.”

What next? That’s the question hanging over glamour filly Guelph following her dominant win in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield.

The victory means trainer Peter Snowden and the Darley team have another decision to make regarding where to head with their top team of three-year-olds.

Snowden has maintained that now is the best time to send Guelph for a break and not push on into the spring and a possible start in the Cox Plate.

He already has Long John in the race after the team decided to give the Caulfield Guineas winner his chance in the weight-for-age championship on October 26.

Thousand Guineas 1,600m
1 GUELPH $1.45
T: Peter Snowden J: Kerrin McEvoy
2 MAY’S DREAM $7.50
T: Darren Weir J: Nicholas Hall
T: David Hayes J: Chad Schofield
Margins: 1-3/4L x 2-1/2L Time: 1:37.78

Like the decision with Long John, Snowden says the team will take the next day or two before deciding their filly’s immediate future.

“It’s not my call alone, it’s a team decision,” he said.

“I’ve made it known all along that I’d like to stop with her now, but the boys will have a talk and chat to the boss (Sheikh Mohammed) at home to see what his thoughts are, but we’ll come up with the right decision I hope.”

“The horse has to tell you … what we want and what they can do may be two different things.”

It has been an outstanding week for Snowden and Darley, who also prepared Derby contender Complacent to win the Spring Champion on Saturday only hours before Long John’s victory in the Guineas.

Guelph’s dominance was evident in betting for the Thousand Guineas, for which she was sent out a $1.45 favourite.

It makes her the shortest-priced favourite to win the race in the modern era ahead of the likes of Alinghi, Miss Finland and Atlantic Jewel.

Kerrin McEvoy took the race in hand from the jump and dictated in front, kicking Guelph clear in the straight to win her fourth Group One.

May’s Dream ran on well for second while Gregers held down third.

“I had a few scenarios in my head behind the barriers, but when she began well I thought I’ll take the race by the scruff of the neck,” McEvoy said.

“It’s pretty arduous down that side, that wind is bloody strong and it does blow them off stride, even a big filly like her.

“It’s a nice prize for her for sure.”

Guelph, twice a Group One winner at two, is the first filly to win the Flight Stakes-Thousand Guineas double since Dashing Eagle in 1996.


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