Trainer Greg Eurell is keen to test O’Tauto over 1600 metres for the first time and will do so at Group One level in the Australian Guineas at Flemington.
O’Tauto won at Flemington over 1400m in mid-January before cementing 2019 Australian Guineas plans with a third in the Group Three C S Hayes Stakes over the same course and distance last Saturday week.
Eurell confirmed O’Tauto would take his place in Saturday’s Australian Guineas with Dwayne Dunn to ride the gelding again after being aboard last start.
“I’ve always said he just seems a real miler and all his runs have suggested he will get further,” Eurell said.
“So it will be interesting to see on Saturday what he does do over the mile.
“His last furlong was good last start and he gave us no reason not to head in this direction.
“He’s going to come up against some tough opposition but I thought his run last start was good and he had had a gap between runs as well, so certainly fitness wise that would have helped him along a touch.
“He’s in super order and I just hope we get a good draw.”
Tasmanian filly Mystic Journey headed the Australian Guineas market at $4.80 on Monday, ahead of Group One Thousand Guineas winner Amphitrite at $5 with acceptances for the $1 million race be taken on Wednesday.
Hawkshot, convincing winner of the Group Two Autumn Stakes at Caulfield last start, is next at $6 alongside Sandown Guineas winner Ringerdingding who ran in the Group One Futurity Stakes (1400m) at weight-for-age on Saturday and closed the race off strongly to be beaten just over two lengths in 10th.
O’Tauto was at $26.
Eurell will be chasing his second Australian Guineas win after former stable star Apache Cat claimed the first of his eight Group One wins in the 2006 race.
“It would be nice to grab that trophy again,” Eurell said.