Dalasan has eased as Caulfield Guineas favourite after a wide draw but his Hall of Fame trainer Leon Macdonald remains confident the colt can still get the job done in the $2 million race.
A field of 16 plus three emergencies has been declared for Saturday’s Guineas (1600m) for three-year-olds with Dalasan coming up with the second outside barrier on Tuesday.
He went from $2.50 to $3 but Adelaide-based Macdonald, who trains in partnership with Andrew Gluyas, is remaining positive despite admitting the draw was “not good”.
“You can’t worry about it can you?” Macdonald said.
“At the end of the day a barrier is a barrier.
“You’ve got to have luck from wherever you are.
“He’s done everything right and he’s had a pretty faultless preparation.
“This might be the first hiccup he’s had in the whole preparation so let’s hope he can overcome it.”
Macdonald recalled training Umrum to win the 1999 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield from barrier 17 of 18.
Dalasan has a couple of changes for Saturday’s big race.
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman replaces Raquel Clark after the colt’s second placing in the Prelude (1400m) last Sunday week and Dalasan will also wear blinkers.
“He (Bowman) is probably one of the best in Australia if not the best and I’m sure he will do him justice,” Macdonald said.
Bowman rode Dalasan for the first time on Tuesday morning in a gallop on the Caulfield course proper.
The colt wore blinkers in the worl-out and the jockey gave Macdonald a glowing report, convinced they will help the colt.
Bowman said Dalasan was straightforward in Tuesday’s hit-out.
“He gave me a good feel. He’s a very relaxed horse,” Bowman said.
“I think the blinkers might just help him focus up when he needs to.
“The blinkers won’t be any hindrance at all.
“We know what he’s capable of and I’m looking forward to taking him around on Saturday.”
Macdonald said Dalasan, who has four wins and two seconds from six starts, willl not be drifting back from the draw and he has faith he is saddling up the best horse in the race.
“He probably is on what he has done,” Macdonald said.
“I believe he ought to be undefeated at this stage.
“I think the horse drawn in barrier one (Roccabascerana) will help a bit. He’ll jump and get running, I’m sure. They might spread out a bit.
“Dalasan has got good speed from the gate and he’ll probably be better than midfield and hope we’ve got some cover.”
Guineas Prelude winner Alligator Blood drew 13 and is on the second line of betting at $6 while the Chris Waller-trained Kubrick also drew wide and will start from the gate inside Dalasan.
Kubrick is the only other runner at single figure odds at $6.50.