Atlante can shore up a future at stud by winning the Randwick Guineas but jockey Glyn Schofield won’t be surprised if the colt’s value soars even more before the autumn is over.
As a New Zealand Group One-winning son of Fastnet Rock, Atlante will find a home as a sire.
But an Australian Group One victory will take him to another level in the breeding stakes and a second and possibly third during the autumn would make him one of the most sought-after colts in this part of the world.
Providing Sydney’s skies remain clear and Saturday’s Randwick track can improve into the dead range, Schofield is enthusiastic about Atlante’s chances of giving trainer Murray Baker successive Guineas wins.
It was Schofield on Boban who denied last year’s winner, the Baker-trained It’s A Dundeel, in last week’s Chipping Norton Stakes.
“Of course I beat Murray last week but I’d like to win it for him this week,” Schofield said.
Schofield rode Atlante when the colt stumbled his way into second placing on a wet track behind Dissident in the Hobartville Stakes.
“He was in trouble a long way out but to his credit he just kept working and working,” Schofield said.
“The winner had some race fitness on his side but we have that now and I’m hoping the sun keeps shining between now and Saturday.”
Since the Guineas was introduced in 2006, four of the eight winners have had their lead-in run in the Hobartville Stakes.
And while Schofield insists Atlante has the right profile to be a Randwick Guineas winner, he says the three-year-old already has tremendous appeal in the richest handicap race of the autumn.
“To me he makes a super Doncaster Mile-type horse,” Schofield said.
Atlante and fellow New Zealander El Roca have been two of the best-backed Guineas runners.
El Roca is a firm favourite, shortening from $4 to $3.80 while Atlante holds down the second line of betting after $8 to $6.50 support.
New Zealand runners have been few and far between in the Guineas with Grand Dancer (2008) and Ocean Park (2012) finishing unplaced before It’s A Dundeel’s win last year.