Lindsay Park will keep Long Leaf to sprinting during the spring, deciding to bypass the Group One Caulfield Guineas.
Senior trainer David Hayes says the colt will instead be freshened for the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on November 3 before being aimed at Guineas races in the autumn.
Hayes said it was a difficult decision to bypass next Saturday’s $2 million Caulfield Guineas for three-year-olds over 1600m after Long Leaf’s third-placed finish in the Prelude (1400m) on September 30.
Long Leaf sits on the fourth line of betting at $13 for the Guineas behind The Autumn Sun at $2.30 and Darren Weir stablemates pair of Leonardo Da Hinchi ($6) and Native Soldier ($8).
“It was a good run in the Prelude but I just thought his last 50 metres, even though he ran the best last sectional, he wasn’t rushing the line,” Hayes said.
“So I thought, I’ll keep him fresh, give him an easy time and if he wins it (Coolmore) with his pedigree it will be a good result.
“I’ve got the feeling the speed of a 1200-metre race will allow him to join in and I reckon he’ll run really well.”
Long Leaf sports the navy blue colours of Coolmore Stud which were carried to victory at Royal Ascot this year by Merchant Navy who won the 2017 Group One sprint for the three-year-olds.
With Long Leaf to miss Saturday’s race, Lindsay Park will be represented by Good ‘N’ Fast and Muswellbrook.
Good ‘N’ Fast was a last-start eighth in the Guineas Prelude and Hayes was encouraged by the performance.
“I was really happy with Good ‘N’ Fast’s run,” Hayes said.
“He just got too far back but his last 50 metres was excellent.
“Muswellbrook has been racing consistently and deserves his shot at the race.”
Hayes said the stable was contemplating running the pair in blinkers on Saturday.
“I’m working them in the gear and I’ll make a final decision by acceptance time,” he said.
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