Betting suggests Saturday’s Group One Flight Stakes is cut and dried but it’s a view that isn’t shared by the trainer of the short-priced favourite.
Guelph is at $1.40 to claim the final leg of the four-race Princess Series, ahead of Arabian Gold at $3.20 and Bound For Earth ($10).
The first three legs of the fillies series have been won by different horses – Thump claimed the Silver Shadow Stakes, Bound For Earth was a surprise winner of the Furious before Guelph asserted her authority in the Tea Rose Stakes last start.
Darley’s Peter Snowden holds Guelph in high regard but he knows better than to sell her opposition short.
“They’re all a chance. The horse who beat her in the Furious Stakes is there and the horse who ran second to her last start, Arabian Gold, she’s there as well,” Snowden said.
“They’re well above average.”
Guelph’s trademark is her powerful finish and it was seen to advantage in the Tea Rose when she came from second last in the small field to overwhelm her rivals.
She again faces only five opponents in Saturday’s 1600m race and Snowden is wary of the pitfalls of a small field.
“They’re not good but there’s not much we can do about it,” Snowden said.
“I’m happy with our horse.”
Guelph will be shooting for her third elite victory in the Flight Stakes having claimed the Group One double of the ATC Sires’ Produce and Champagne Stakes at two.
Big and athletic, the filly’s conformation and natural ability have contributed to her achievements.
But they aren’t the only attributes which have endeared her to Snowden.
“She’s a beautiful filly. Very genuine and she tries and tries,” Snowden said.
“I couldn’t ask anything more of her.”
If Guelph wins on Saturday, Snowden has indicated she will head to Melbourne for the Thousand Guineas.
Her performance in that race will determine whether Darley gives her a shot at the Cox Plate.