Promising South Australian gelding Eclair Big Bang proved he was a serious BECK Caulfield Guineas contender with victory in today’s $175,000 Group 3 BECK Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
Unbeaten in his first two starts in South Australia before a last-start third placing in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes at Flemington, trainer Phillip Stokes said everything has gone perfectly to plan with the preparation so far.
“He’s always been a talented horse,” Stokes said. “We’ve brought him along slowly and his fitness is getting there.
“He still has to learnt to relax a little bit, the two weeks into the Guineas will be much better for him than the three weeks leading into today.
“I think the horse is still a preparation from showing his best but we’ll definitely press on towards the Guineas on what he did today.”
After jumping brilliantly, jockey Dom Tourneur positioned Eclair Big Bang ($13) in the box seat on the back of the early leader El Roca ($14), who went for home before the turn opening up a three length break.
Gradually wearing down the margin in the straight, Eclair Big Bang loomed up alongside El Roca at the 100 metre mark before racing away to win by just under a length.
Favourite Long John ($3) put in an extremely encouraging performance from a Caulfield Guineas point of view, flying home late to grab third narrowly behind El Roca.
Admitting he previously had queries on the son of Savabeel running out a strong 1600 metres, Tourneur said on the strength of today’s performance he should have no issues with an extra 200 metres in the Guineas.
“He’s probably shown me so far that he is more of a brilliant sort of a horse and today was the first sign that he’s shown me that he can really switch off,” Tourneur said.
“If he can find some cover early and do that again on Caulfield Guineas Day then he’s going to be right in it.”
Story by Ben Asgari