The Paul Perry-trained Perast has caused a minor upset in the Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude, a race which signalled the end of Royal Symphony’s unbeaten run.
Perast ($11) was backing up eight days after a tough effort for seventh in the Group One Golden Rose in Sydney.
After sitting off the leader Summer Passage ($17) in Sunday’s 1400m race at Caulfield, Perast edged past him in the straight to win by a length.
Godolphin’s Kementari ($3.80) was strong through the line in his Melbourne debut for third, another head away.
The $2.40 favourite Royal Symphony was another 2-1/4 lengths away fourth after coming from third last in the field of 10.
The win of Perast did not surprise Perry.
“I thought he would run a great race. I truly did,” Perry said.
“His run the other day was really good in the Golden Rose.
“The stablemate (The Mission) took him on and they just ran each other into the ground.
“He did well to hang on the way he did in the Golden Rose.”
Perry confirmed the colt would head to the $2 million Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in 13 days.
“I think the mile will suit him much better than today,” Perry said.
Royal Symphony is still favourite for the Guineas at $4 ahead of the filly Catchy, who ran third in Sunday’s Thousand Guineas Prelude, and Kementari at $5.
New Zealander Summer Passage is at $8.50 ahead of Perast and Golden Rose winner Trapeze Artist at $10.
Royal Symphony’s jockey Dwayne Dunn believes the colt, who was beaten for the first time in five starts, is likely to have blinkers or winkers in the Guineas.
“That was something we didn’t want to see,” Dunn said.
“Obviously we want him to keep winning but things were against him today. He was probably looking for the 1600 metres. I would say he’ll have a little gear change going into the Guineas and still don’t write him off just yet.”
Godolphin trainer James Cummings said it was a pleasing run from Kementari and valuable experience at Caulfield going into the Guineas.
“He was really warming to the task late,” Cummings said.