The Peter Snowden stable says in-form colt Bullbars is right on target to win Saturday’s Group One Australian Guineas at Flemington.
The three-year-old, who drew barrier 11 in the 1600m feature, is a last-start winner of the Group Three CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington when second-up on February 19.
On that occasion he went back from the outside barrier, 15, and swept home from last on the home turn out wide on the track to beat Startsmeup, Spirited Eagle and Enjin Number Nine.
“Bullbars goes a lot better when he’s ridden quietly out of the barriers, so he’ll still be ridden the same way,” assistant trainer Paul Snowden said.
“He made a 600-metre run last start and all he has done since is improve.
“His work has been really good and I’m very happy with where he is at.
“I’m sure he’ll perform well on Saturday.”
Bullbars was turned out after finishing eighth to Anacheeva in the Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last October and has come on in leaps and bounds with maturity.
He resumed with a second to Enjin Number Nine in the Listed Manfred Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on February 9 before his impressive Flemington victory.
“He’s only had a short preparation and his form has been outstanding. He’s right on target,” Snowden said.
The colt is poised to give owner Sheikh Mohammed, the Snowden stable and jockey Kerrin McEvoy their second Group One win in successive weeks following star two-year-old Sepoy’s victory in the Blue Diamond Stakes by a record margin of 4-1/4 lengths.
Bullbars, like Sepoy and 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Smarty Jones, is a son of Mr Prospector-line stallion Elusive Quality.
The winner of two of his seven starts, Bullbars is out of the unraced Singspiel mare Accessories and is a half-brother to the very promising two-year-old colt Helmet who won twice at Rosehill last month.
Mark Zahra, who has been replaced by McEvoy on Bullbars as he was on Sepoy in the Blue Diamond, has a good mount in the Tony Vasil-trained late entry Under The Eiffel whose connections paid $41,250 to put him into the race.
Under The Eiffel, who drew barrier 10, is third pick in the betting with TAB Sportsbet behind top New Zealand filly We Can Say It Now who has retained favouritism at $6 after drawing gate 12.
Star Western Australian colt Playing God, who drew beautifully in barrier three, is at $7.
Southern Speed, who drew the outside gate, 20, in the 16-horse field plus four emergencies, and Bullbars are both at $10 with Enjin Number Nine (gate seven) next at $12.