Darley will roll out gun three-year-olds in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday – dual group 1-winning filly Guelph and the unbeaten Safeguard.
Kerrin McEvoy will stay in Sydney to ride Guelph in the Furious Stakes at Randwick, leaving Craig Williams to take the reins on Safeguard in the Danehill Stakes at Flemington.
Darley head trainer Peter Snowden said it was a decision made as a team but the stable jockey was leaning to staying with Guelph, which returns after winning the Sires’ Produce and Champagne Stakes as a two-year-old.
”It was our decision but Kerrin wanted to stay here because he has been quite taken with Guelph since she came back,” he said. ”Her work right from the get-go has been great, she trialled excellent. She is quite forward, she’s ready to run.
”She had the softest trial but she has had a lot of trackwork between, she had a couple of gallops, I took her to Agnes Banks for a searching gallop last week. [Kerrin] thinks she has really furnished. In her trial, he hardly did anything on her, she just done it all herself.”
The program change, dropping the Furious to 1200 metres from 1400m, allowed Guelph to start her spring campaign a little later, and Snowden is eyeing the Flight Stakes, Thousand Guineas and possibly the Cox Plate for her.
Guelph won four of her seven starts in her juvenile season and earned $919,000 in stakes. Safeguard, in contrast, has only had three starts, for three wins, because of setbacks during his two-year-old season, but that may play in his favour.
”The best is left in him. [Safeguard] is still very new and has a lot to learn about racing.”
The colt returned to win the Vain Stakes last month. His spring target is the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby day at Flemington and Snowden is working out how to get him through the long campaign.
”It is difficult because every race is a grand final for them,” he said. ”It’s a real tough prep, we did it with Sepoy and it nearly came unstuck because it is so long. We are tossing up running him in the Moir because there is a five-week break between the Danehill and Blue Pendant at Caulfield, which is three weeks out from the Coolmore.”
Complicating matters is Snowden has set Doomben 10,000 winner Epaulette to resume in the group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 27. ”Ideally, you wouldn’t want two colts clashing,” he said.
Sidestep looks likely to continue to the Golden Rose despite being knocked out of play and galloped on in the early stages of Saturday’s Run To The Rose.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.