Mark Gatt

Godolphin Well Positioned for Caulfield Guineas Meeting

Alizee is the expected favorite for the Schweppes Thousand Guineas (G1).

In the week where Godolphin Australia named its new boss, it will look for its most successful group 1 afternoon at the Down Under at the Caulfield Guineas meeting Oct.14.

Vin Cox will join Godolphin as its Australian managing director in January. Cox has been in charge of the Magic Millions sales company for the past decade and been the Australian representative for Keeneland, both roles he will relinquish to join Godolphin.

"It was a hard decision, but this is a dream job and you just couldn't turn it down," Cox said. "I'm looking forward to the Magic Millions in January, but will be keeping tabs on how Godolphin go in the spring, and they look like having a good day on Saturday."

The boys in blue have the favorite for the Schweppes Thousand Guineas (G1) in Alizee, a last start group 1 winner over a mile in the Flight Stakes (G1) at Randwick; Hartnell in the Ladbrokes Stakes (G1); while, Kementari and Sanctioned fly the flag in the feature the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (G1).

Godolphin head trainer James Cummings had waited to see how Alizee came though her comprehensive Flight Stakes win before committing to a trip to Melbourne, but he thinks she has improved again after a gallop at Caulfield Oct. 10.  

"I couldn't be much happier with the way she handled Caulfield (Tuesday) morning. Her work was perfect," Cummings said. "She got around the track without any trouble and the change of scenery will keep her stimulated. She's deep into her preparation, but that doesn't bother me too much. She has enough condition on her to allow her to hold her form from her last start, which was a fabulous effort.

"We're taking on the Melbourne fillies on their home patch, but we're happy with the way she's arrived and we're looking forward to the challenge," he said.

Hartnell will look to break a frustrating habit of group 1 placings. He has been a group 1 runner-up in his past two runs, the PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes and the Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes, which takes his group 1 tally of seconds to six with two thirds and two wins.

Cummings has liked the way he continued to come to hand the further he has gotten into his preparation.

"He looks to be in the best condition of his whole preparation. He's getting out to 10 furlongs for the first time and he's had three runs," Cummings said. "At each of his past two runs there have been things that didn't go his way, and he still ran very well to finish second. I'm delighted with where he's at, he's really blossomed since the Underwood Stakes where he ran so well behind Bonneval, who he meets again."

Kementari is favored in the Caulfield Guineas after running in third in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (G3) two weeks ago.

"He's had a really attractive grounding for the 1,600 meters third-up, and I loved his Guineas trial in the Prelude when he warmed to the task late in the race. I thought it was a beautiful trial," Cummings said. "Since then he's gone ahead and comes to his grand final race in top condition."