Godolphin colt Gaulois is the lone “visitor” against a strong field of locals in the G2 West Australian Guineas at Ascot in Perth on Saturday, but the class he brings to the race keeps him in strong contention.
Gaulois (Damian Lane) has won two and been placed at five more of his eight starts and the only time he wasn’t in the money was last start when he ran perhaps the best race of his career behind Levendi in the G3 Carbine Club Stakes at Flemington.
The Street Cry colt worked hard early and then raced wide, outside the lead, for most of the 1,600 metres, only giving ground in the closing stages.
“That was the strongest field he’s faced and he did really well from his outside gate to finish only two-and-a-half-lengths from the winner, who looks to be quite a good horse,” said trainer James Cummings.
“We went into that race knowing we had a colt with some class and he proved that he’ll run a strong mile.
“He’s drawn wide again, but he’s settled in nicely in Perth and we’re satisfied that he’s held his form.”
The 16-runner Guineas field includes some in-form three-year-olds, including the filly Art Series who is a winner at 1,600m and Money Maher, a last start winner at Listed level.
Godolphin’s weekend Stakes-race line-up is completed by the former French-trained Big Blue (Stephen Baster) in the Listed Ballarat Cup.
Big Blue is a G1 placegetter at St Cloud as a two-year-old and a Listed winner at Deauville at three.
Cummings said: “He’s going to meet a strong field here, but he should find the 2,200m to his liking.”
The Australian team is also anticipating a promising debut at Rosehill on Saturday with a Lonhro two-year-old Plague Stone (Brenton Avdulla) in the ungraded Golden Gift.
“We were pleasantly surprised at the improvement he showed to win a barrier trial a couple of weeks ago, so we’re looking forward to seeing how he performs at his first race start,” the trainer said.
Plague Stone is from the family of G1 winner High Hawk who produced the European stakes-winning brothers, Morozov, Hawkers News, Hunting Hawk and In The Wings , winner of the G1 Breeders Cup.