Long John lands Guineas for Darley

| October 13, 2013
Long John holds off Divine Calling to win G1 Caulfield Guineas

Long John holds off Divine Calling to win G1 Caulfield Guineas

Long John proved a triumph for the huge Darley racing operation in winning the $1 million Caulfield Guineas.

Trainer Peter Snowden timed Long John’s preparation to the minute and he was met with strong support on track to start the $3.80 favourite.

“It’s not very often that you get what you want, but we did today,” said Snowden, who prepared Helmet to win the Guineas two years ago.

“If you asked me a month ago, I thought he would have struggled in the Guineas, but he’s one of those horses that has just kept improving.

“There’s definitely more to come with him.”

The Guineas is regarded as a stallion-making race, but that won’t be the case this year as Long John was one of four geldings to contest the three-year-old classic.

But while he won’t eventually join the likes of Redoute’s Choice and All Too Hard at stud, his win adds to the record of his Darley-owned sire Street Cry.

Long John was given a beautiful ride by Kerrin McEvoy from barrier one. He got the horse off the fence before the turn and made a dash for home rounding the turn.

Gai Waterhouse’s Divine Calling ($13) loomed to challenge in the final 200 metres but Long John held a half-length margin on the line.

Shamus Award ($21) ran home from well back for third ahead of Dissident ($8).

Snowden credited the victory to his son Paul, who handles Darley’s stable in Melbourne.

“He’s had this horse for 12 months and I’ve only seen the horse work twice in my life – that’s how good a job he’s done with this horse,” Snowden said.

Snowden cool on Cox Plate start

Inevitably, talk around the Guineas winner centres on whether he will press forward to the Cox Plate. Snowden tried it and failed with Helmet and he appear cool on the idea.

“I have seen it done with three-year-olds, but it’s a big ask,” he said.

“I thought Helmet was the horse that could do it and it brought him undone. We’ll think long and hard about that.”

Instead, Snowden said the Derby on November 2 was a possibility.

“A horse like this could run at Moonee Valley (in the Vase) and then back up to the Derby. For this horse it would be a perfect preparation.”

Long John is also somewhat of a rarity for the Australian arm of the Darley operation – which is owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed – in that he boasts a two-word name.

Earlier, another member of the Snowden team, Aerobatics, showed great acceleration to win the Sprint Series Final for the mares.

Rawiller, Boss thrilled with placegetters

Of the beaten brigade, Nash Rawiller aboard Divine Calling looked fleetingly like he would snare back to back Group Ones after winning the Toorak Handicap with Solzhenitsyn a race earlier.

“I’m thrilled with the effort. I thought he was going to get there but the winner was too tough,” he said.

Glen Boss was also impressed by the run of Shamus Award, however Craig Newitt had nothing but problems aboard El Roca (fifth).

The New Zealand visitor was well fancied in betting but featured prominently in the stewards report after striking plenty of trouble in running.

“I had a lot of luck – all bad,” Newitt said. “I was held up everywhere and he smashed the line. He’s a good horse.”

Damien Oliver said he believed Prince Harada, the second favourite, would be a better horse next campaign after he settled back in the field but only ran on for sixth.

The Guineas was the final event on a big 10-race card at Caulfield which featured three Group Ones.

The day’s other features were won by Atlantic Jewel (Caulfield Stakes) and Solzhenitsyn (Toorak Handicap).

It was the first of three big days at Caulfield, with the Thousand Guineas (1,600m) for fillies to be run on Wednesday followed by the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup (2,400m) next Saturday.


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