Trainer Mick Price will be looking for a stronger finish from Secret Hills in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude after a costly last-start defeat.
The Starcraft gelding is Price’s last hope for next month’s Caulfield Guineas and Saturday’s assignment in the Group Three 1400-metre event raises the bar again for him.
Secret Hills meets four of the top seven horses in the Caulfield Guineas market including third favourite Helmet ($6), trained by Peter Snowden.
Chase the Rainbow ($10), Cross Of Gold ($16) and That’s The One ($18) are others prominent in the Guineas market while Secret Hills is at $51.
“He’s going well but he had every chance at Flemington last start,” Price said.
“To me he appeared he was going to win at Flemington and for whatever reason he didn’t.”
Secret Hills raced to the lead at the 200 metres in the Listed Henry Bucks (1400m) but was swamped in the last 25 metres and went down by a long neck to Specter and Chase The Rainbow who stormed home from last.
“He (Secret Hills) ran very well last time but it is going to be a stiffer race on Saturday,” Price said.
The Anthony Freedman-trained Specter, who was having only his third race start at Flemington, is again a contender in the Guineas Prelude.
He improved on his neck second to Chase The Rainbow at Geelong to win at Flemington and is at $26 for the Caulfield Guineas.
A change of tactics last start franked trainer Rick Hore-Lacy’s opinion of Chase The Rainbow as a Guineas contender.
Jockey Dean Yendall dropped the grey out to last and it nearly paid off.
“If he can repeat that run he will be a hard to beat again,” Hore-Lacy said.