Matamata three-year-old Summer Passage is in the right order to execute a back-up plan at Caulfield today.
He will step out in the Gr.3 Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) after connections opted to bypass Saturday's Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), in which the colt would have jumped from the widest gate in a capacity field.
"The horse that drew the outside [Sanctioned] finished midfield and that could quite easily have been us," said Andrew Scott, who trains Summer Passage with Lance O'Sullivan. "The horse that won [Mighty Boss] had the most economical run in the race.
"It would have been a very tall order for our bloke and we want to give the horse at least a fighting chance over here."
Summer Passage will get his opportunity in the Blue Sapphire Stakes, in which he has barrier eight in a 10-horse field. He will be ridden by Hugh Bowman.
"The gate's obviously a bit tricky so a lot will depend on how he jumps," Scott said. "He's got a top jockey and he will be able to give us the right feedback.
"All we want is to give the horse the opportunity to perform as well as we know he can."
Summer Passage is coming off a last-start second in the Gr.3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) and Scott said the son of Snitzel had done very well in the interim.
"We're really pleased with the way he has progressed. He had a quiet gallop on Monday so hopefully he can get a good run and perform very well." That being the case, Summer Passage will head to the A$1 million Gr.1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 4.
?Multiple stakes winner Volpe Veloce might be set for feature sprint prizes during her next preparation.
The talented daughter of Foxwedge has been successful up to a mile in black type company, but trainers Graham Richardson and Gavin Parker have a pair of Group One 1200m events tagged as possible summer targets.
"We're looking at the Railway and the Telegraph, we're seriously thinking about them," Richardson said.
Volpe Veloce was given a break after off tracks tripped the mare up when she was unplaced in both the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m).
"She's had a rest and she'll be back next Monday," Richardson said. "She looks fantastic."
Meanwhile, the stable will be represented by a number of resuming runners at Te Aroha today, among them the highly-regarded Tiptronic. He will open his four-year-old campaign in the Donaghys Tasman Tim 1400m.
"You'll see the best of him when he gets up to a mile and a-half, but he has been working very, very well," Richardson said.
Runner-up in last season's Gr.2 Great Northern Guineas (1600m), Tiptronic will be opposed by stablemates Pacquiao and Fame Seeker in the Rating 75 sprint.
Pacquiao has won two of his last four starts and has been freshened since last racing while Fame Seeker has improved with a Taupo outing last month under her belt.
The stable's representation is completed by Darci Deniro (Donaghys PureFlush 1400m) and Flying Trapeze (Donaghys UdderMax 1200m), both horses back from spells.
"You never quite know what they might do fresh-up, but they're all working well," Richardson said. ?Dublin Rose is tipped to give a bold account of herself at Te Aroha today.
The O'Reilly two-year-old will debut in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1200m) off the back of a smart effort at the Te Teko trials.
"She's a very speedy filly who won her trial well," co-trainer Jamie Richards said.
"Her work has been good and we expect her to run very well."
Meanwhile, stablemate Fashionably will return to action in the Donaghys Pro-Dairy 1400m, her first start since finishing fifth in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).
"She's had a good spell and is coming along nicely," Richards said. "We'll get her rating up a bit before we pick out some black type targets."
- NZ Racing Desk