Jerome Hunter and the connections of lightly raced Barb Raider have taken a punt in their attempt to pocket a major share of the Thousand Guineas prize money on offer.
A late entry fee of $27,500 was paid up for Barb Raider to contest the Group 1 1600m race for three-year-old fillies at Caulfield on Wednesday.
Barb Raider enters Wednesday’s race with excellent credentials having won at Sandown and Flemington in her past two outings, but the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 4 has been the filly’s main aim.
“It’s a lot of money to have a throw at the stumps,” Hunter told RSN.
“We had to weigh up what the field was going to be like, so our final decision wasn’t made until Monday morning.”
To get their money back, Barb Raider must finish in the top four, although there is a first prize of $600,000 dangling in front of them.
The filly has gate three on Wednesday and will be ridden by Craig Williams who since 1999 has guided Miss Finland (2006) and Amphitrite (2018) to victory in the race.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better gate, especially with the way she runs,” Hunter said.
“She was bred to stay and before she had even raced, I had the Oaks aimed for her, and still have.
“But what the horse has showed in her last couple of runs, she has a bit of brilliance about her over the last couple of hundred metres.
“She’s not a horse that is an out-and-out grinder. She does have a kick and this field has dropped away quite a bit compared to other years, so we are going into it happy enough to send her around.”
Hunter said Barb Raider is his best chance of saddling a Group 1 winner and said the filly was very mature horse for her age.