Tactical insight gained from two Melbourne rides aboard Bull Point has champion jockey Damien Oliver poised to deliver Gai Waterhouse another Group One win.
Bull Point was a beaten last-start favourite against older horses in the Futurity Stakes when he raced on the speed.
Oliver felt the colt got out of his comfort zone by sitting on the back of the leaders before toughing out the finish to run fourth to Moment Of Change.
“Damien said he thinks he had him a touch close last start,” Waterhouse’s stable spokesman Mark Newnham said.
“Moment Of Change runs fast sectionals and he (Bull Point) did the donkey work. Damien feels he will be better if he makes a run at them.”
A strong winner of the Manfred Stakes in February, Bull Point returns to three-year-old company in Saturday’s Randwick Guineas (1600m), a race neither Waterhouse nor Oliver has won.
However, the trainer-jockey combination has a lethal record in big races claiming the Melbourne and Australian Cups with Fiorente.
Bull Point shapes as Waterhouse’s leading Guineas chance at $8 ahead of Woodbine ($10) and Romantic Touch ($21) who both contested the Hobartville Stakes on a slow track last start finishing fourth and sixth respectively.
“Woodbine went super the other day and Romantic Touch didn’t handle the wet track,” Newnham said.
Romantic Touch might have to deal with similar conditions in the Guineas with Randwick given a slow rating on Thursday.
The surface could also be a negative for Koroibete, another who struggled to handle the wet in the Hobartville.
Trainer Gerald Ryan feels the gelding can be competitive if conditions suit on Saturday but will bloom once he steps up to longer distances.
“His run first-up was even, I don’t think he handled the ground too well,” Ryan said.
“This class of race, they may be a bit nippy for him at the mile but he will come into his own once he gets to 2000 metres and beyond.”
One horse who won’t be bothered by a rain-affected track is favourite El Roca.
The New Zealander has won three of four starts on dead and slow ground and is a clear top pick at $3.80.