The Cox Plate remains an option for powerhouse filly Guelph after she returned to the winner’s circle in Saturday’s Group Two Tea Rose Stakes at Randwick.
A dual Group One-winning juvenile, Guelph was narrowly beaten as an odds-on favourite in the Furious Stakes (1200m) but she made amends in emphatic fashion.
With an impressive turn of foot, Guelph ($2.45) scored by 1-3/4 lengths over the favourite Arabian Gold ($2.35) with Furious winner Bound For Earth ($8.50) 1-1/4 lengths away third.
“Just as well I’m married or she’d be the next one I’d marry,” trainer Peter Snowden said.
“Once she gets to 1400 and 1600 metres, we’ve seen that last time as a two-year-old, she is a different filly and she showed that today.”
Snowden confirmed Guelph would press on to the Group One Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in two weeks before heading to Melbourne where Darley would entertain a Cox Plate start.
“There’s the Flight Stakes here and then the Thousand Guineas and then we will see if we pull up stumps, or go one more,” Snowden said.
“She has always been big and strong and she’s very athletic.”
With Darley’s stable rider Kerrin McEvoy suspended, Hugh Bowman picked up the plum mount and rode the filly with confidence.
“I wanted to ride her like she was the best horse in the race, which she was, and that’s why I didn’t want to go pushing for runs,” Bowman said.
“She oozes class. She was a fantastic two-year-old filly and she has obviously come back in great order as a three-year-old.
“Peter felt confident she had improved from her first-up run, which she obviously has, and there is more in store for her.”
David Vandyke was pleased with the effort of Arabian Gold who was having her first run since July and first test at stakes level.
But he admitted Guelph looked to have the Flight Stakes at her mercy.
“Guelph proved today she is the superior filly over the Sydney fillies and she goes into the Flight as the favourite,” he said.