Trainer Chris Munce has a sound reason for dropping his consistent three-year-old Stampe sharply in distance at the Gold Coast.
Stampe returns from 1600m at his last start to 1200m in the Group Three Gold Coast Guineas.
He will be joined by his in-form stablemate Scathing in the Guineas which is now one of the major winter races.
Due to coronavirus restrictions the winter carnival has been drastically reduced which also means the feature races are split between the Sunshine Coast on Friday and Gold Coast on Saturday.
Stampe has been one of the most consistent horses in Queensland this year and his fourth at the Sunshine Coast at his last start was the first time he had missed a top three placing in six starts.
On face value Stampe’s fourth indicated he could have struggled at his first attempt at 1600m.
But Munce said that was not right and it had nothing to do with the decision to bring Stampe back in distance.
“His run at the Sunshine Coast was better than most seem to think. He led and while he can do that he went harder than he usually does,” Munce said.
“I wasn’t disappointed at all. He is a versatile horse and he has been an eye-opener this time.
“Stampe just seems to be getting better and better.”
“Either way he would have needed a run because the Sunshine Coast run was three weeks ago,” Munce said.
“He likes the Gold Coast and he has drawn barrier one which means he should get a perfect run.”
Apprentice Justin Huxtable rode Stampe at the Sunshine Coast but he will switch to stablemate Scathing in the Guineas.
Senior rider Sean Cormack will be reunited with Stampe.