Peter Snowden trained Helmet has shown his class today in the Group 3 Guineas Prelude at Caulfield to win in a class record breaking time ahead of the gallant Secret Hills and the fast finishing Specter in third.
Helmet did everything right when he scored a sizzling victory in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude, setting up his assault on the $1 million Caulfield Guineas.
Trainer Peter Snowden said the at times wayward three-year-old had taken to jumping obstacles at Darley’s Agnes Banks property near Hawkesbury before being sent down for his first Melbourne start.
Golden Archer, having his first start beyond 1200m in the 1400m Group Three event, set up the race for Helmet when he went too hard in front with the $2.60 favourite, handled by Kerrin McEvoy, sitting back off him in second place.
Helmet raced clear in the straight and had 3-1/4 lengths to spare over Secret Hills ($18) with Specter ($14) another three lengths back third.
The colt’s winning time of 1:21.40 was only 0.20 seconds outside the course record set by Helmet’s sire Exceed And Excel in winning the 2003 Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at the corresponding meeting.
“Today is the first day I can say he did everything right,” Snowden said.
“He bounced perfect, he travelled good off the hot speed, he relaxed good and then he quickened into his stride.
“To me that’s only a touch of what the horse’s ability really is.
“We popped him over some obstacles (at Flemington) on Friday so he’s had quite a bit of it.
“It seems to stimulate the horse and relax him and it’s enough to sort of keep his mind occupied and off silly things.”
Snowden said the dual Group One winner in Sydney as a two-year-old had coped with the jumping and a couple of solid left-handed gallops since running third in the Group One Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill behind Manawanui and Smart Missile.
“We’ve done a lot with him and I think it’s brought the horse right on and hopefully he just goes on with it in a fortnight’s time,” he said.
Helmet, who has won five of his eight starts and been placed in the other three, was at $4 with TAB Sportsbet for the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8, behind $3.20 favourite Smart Missile, with Moment Of Change at $5.50 and Manawanui at $6.50.
Trainer Rick Hore-Lacy, concerned about the firmness of the track, approached stewards to scratch Chase The Rainbow due to the track being upgraded to a good (2).